A Closer Walk with Lucille

May 28, 2015

Rodd Bland carries B.B. King's famous guitar, Lucille, during the late bluesman's funeral procession on May 27
Credit Christopher Blank

Who was that stoic figure holding B.B. King's guitar in Wednesday's funeral procession down Beale?

When Rodd Bland was asked to lead B.B. King's funeral procession down Beale Street carrying the guitar known to the world as Lucille, he literally walked away from the opportunity. There were others, he said, more qualified. Maybe someone who had been in King's band, or an old friend.

But Rodd wasn't just qualified. He was also family. As the youngest son of the blues legend Bobby "Blue" Bland, he grew up around world famous musicians. B.B. King was his Godfather. 

Today, Bland is a drummer in the Will Tucker Band. He plays regularly on Beale, the street where he often drops by the brass notes embedded in the sidewalk that bear his father and godfather's names.

In our interview, Bland talks about Wednesday's procession and what it was like to take Lucille for her final stroll down one of America's most famous streets.

Credit Christopher Blank