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Performances Song History Lyrics

The Thrill is Gone

Music/Lyrics: Roy Hawkins, Rich Darnell

Vocals: B.B. King

Original Artist: Roy Hawkins

Original Album: Single (1951)

Debut: 2003-02-24

Historian: Heidi Franz

"The Thrill is Gone” – nothing could be further from the sentiment of this title than hearing B.B. King perform this tune with Phish. After jamming in and out of “Everyday I Have the Blues” during the 2/24/03 show in New Jersey, B.B. King and Phish electrified the audience with “The Thrill is Gone.” This is another song often credited to B.B. King, but was originally written by Roy Hawkins and Rick Darnell.

B.B. King recorded it in 1970 and it became his most popular crossover hit, going to #15 in the pop charts and sweeping college campuses. This marked a turning point in blues history as more diverse crowds were finally discovering the blues. Everyone can relate to a song that is the perfect expression of a failed relationship. Regardless if it was the King’s voice or Lucille’s, this song reaches into one’s soul. Tracy Chapman does a cover of this song that is equally riveting!

B.B. King, "The Thrill is Gone" – 11/25/71

For those music lovers who appreciate song standards, the B.B. King jam with Phish was a dream come true. Goosebumps on my arms did not interfere with the groove that was coming from the stage. While a few folks complained about “too much B.B. King,” that is comparable to “too much Phish.” Impossible.

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