Audiences first encountered blues guitarist and singer B.B. King in the '50s, thanks to relentless touring of the so-called "chitlin circuit" and a series of memorable recordings. But that was just the beginning: By crossing over to a rock audience in the '60s and '70s, King played a crucial role in popularizing blues among several generations of new listeners. It wasn't always easy, and B.B. wasn't the most talented of blues musicians to walk the earth, but he is the most persistent. Now, as one of the last major blues stars of his generation still standing, he continues to enjoy the enduring respect and affection of fans worldwide. Although his tour schedule isn't quite as hectic these days, for a man in his 80s he still puts on a powerful show— his singing voice perhaps slightly dimmed by time, but his unmistakable guitar tone and vibrato still very much intact.