BB King's guitar name inspired by fire in Twist, AR

BB King's guitar name inspired by fire in Twist, AR

TWIST, AR - The King of Blues is well known for his playing style and multiple Grammy's, but B.B. King also had a close connection to a Region 8 town.

King is known for naming all of his guitars Lucille.

The name inspired by a Cross County town called Twist.

In the mid 1950's, B.B. King was playing in a juke joint in Twist.

Allen Simmons has lived in Twist all of his life and said he remembers the stories his dad used to tell him about King.

Simmons said the juke joint caught fire after a fight over a woman.

"Somehow or another in the scuffle, the way they heated was with a wood stove in the middle of the place, and it got knocked over," Simmons said.

Simmons said the story goes that B.B. King ran back inside the burning building to save his guitar, but that wasn't the only time BB King made a stop in Twist.

"I've seen him 1 time that I know of, but I didn't know who he was at that time," Simmons said.

Simmons was 10 years old then, and while he didn't know he was seeing someone famous, he remembers the car King was in.

"He would pull up, he'd be in a limousine," Simmons said. "A real nice long big limousine, I do remember the big car."

But Simmons' dad said regardless of King's success, he never acted better than anyone when he came to town.

"They knew who he was and everything," Simmons said. "They were excited anyway that it was B.B. King I guess, but they just talked to him like they were passing through buddies that do it all the time."

At the Valentine Farm across the street, they are constantly reminded of King's presence in their small town with pictures of King up on the walls.

King named all of his guitar's Lucille after that fire in Twist.

King is known to have said he used the name as a reminder to never get in a fight over a woman. Simmons said King knew what he was talking about.

"Ah, that's good advice I recon. You know, depends on what it's about," Simmons said.

Simmons said, for years, he's seen people drive through town to take pictures of the plaque, but he hopes now Twist will become a little more relevant on the map.

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