10 Legendary Acts That Wouldn't Exist Without B.B. King

From Jimi Hendrix to Stevie Ray Vaughan, King's impact is large and undeniable

Santana

santana
Jazz Archiv Hamburg/ullstein bild/Getty

Pre-teenaged Carlos Santana fell under the influence of B.B. King as soon as he heard him on the radio in Tijuana. "I thought, 'Man, that's the stuff — this is the sort of music I want to do when I grow up,'" he recalled. And seeing King play at Bill Graham's Fillmore West for the first time after moving to San Francisco was a "revelation." When King hit his first note of the night, Santana says, "It was like a whole other world had opened up. I thought, 'Oh, that's how he does it. You go inside yourself to come out with this sound.'" Formed in 1967, the Carlos Santana Blues Band covered B.B. King songs in a Latin-rock style. Santana credits Hungarian jazz guitarist Gábor Szabó's Spellbinder for helping him escape King's spell, although never entirely.

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