B.B. King “Live in Cook County Jail”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#318 in the Series) is B.B. King, Live in  Cook Country Jail.

B.B. King, Live in Cool County Jail was most likely my introduction to the blues. It was a long time ago. I don’t remember any other blues albums that I had before this one.  I don’t think I had it the year it was released, 1971, but it wasn’t long after that.

This isn’t a long album. It clocks in just over 38 minutes. It does however; contain many of the B. B. King songs that you’d want.  I’ve seen him in concert a few times. I can tell you that his shows were never all that long either.  I never saw him in his younger days so I’m not sure how much he shortened them as the years went by.  If I had to guess, I’d say that I saw him around 1981 (Pointe East, Lynwood, Illinois) and then again in 1988 (Carlton West Theater, Green Bay, Wisconsin.)

This album starts off the usual long intro before B.B. takes the stage.  His shows always began with a showcase of his band before he’s make his grand entrance.

Once B.B. enters he quickly jumps into two of his classics, those being Memphis Slim’s “Every day I Have the Blues” and “How Blue Can You Get.”

“How Blue Can You Get” was always one of the shows highlights. I can still picture B. B. running through the classic lines….”

“I bought you a ten dollar dinner, and you said: thanks for the snack

I let you live in my penthouse, you said it just a shack

I gave seven children, and now you wanna give them back

I said I’ve been down hearted baby, ever since the day we met

Our love is nothing but the blues, baby, how blue can you get?”

No live B.B. King album would be complete without his most well-known song. And yes, you’ll find it here. In fact, this just might contain the best version of “The Thrill is Gone.” The captive audience loved it.

I’m a little disappointed at the videos I was able to find for the playlist. I do have most of the songs but many are not from the Cool Country Jail album of 1971.  Don’t forget to check out that trial with MOG and get unlimited downloads for 14 days. They have the album there, in it’s entirety.

— Larry Carta

Track listing

  1. “Introductions” – 1:50
  2. “Every Day I Have the Blues” (Memphis Slim) – 1:43
  3. “How Blue Can You Get?” (Feather) – 5:09
  4. “Worry, Worry” (Davis, Jules Taub) – 9:57
  5. Medley: “3 O’Clock Blues”, “Darlin’ You Know I Love You” – 6:15
  6. “Sweet Sixteen” (Joe Josea, King) – 4:20
  7. “The Thrill Is Gone” (Darnell, Roy Hawkins) – 5:31
  8. “Please Accept My Love” (King, Sam Ling) – 4:02


  • B.B. King – Guitar, vocals
  • Wilbert Freeman – Bass
  • Sonny Freeman – Drums
  • John Browning – Trumpet
  • Louis Hubert – Tenor Saxophone
  • Booker Walker – Alto Saxophone
  • Ron Levy – Piano


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Posted by Larry Carta

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