by J Raleigh Jones
Blues Queen King Claudette King
It was October 2020 when I first met Claudette King when MC1 Records was showcasing artists at the Texas Troubadour Theater in Nashville, TN. I was in the green room after the show when I first spoke with Claudette, daughter of the Legendary B B King. She is such a down to earth, smiling, fun person off stage as well as on stage. And, she is such a great performer.
The children of legendary artists often struggle to attain their own artist identity and it has been no different for Claudette, who has had so many hardships and struggles while establishing herself as an artist and performer. Claudette did not give up and she did not quit. The talented King persevered and was eventually inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame. She has also won the Lifetime Achievement Award, The Keys To The City, and so many other honors. She has proven the most important thing to accomplish greatness is to never give up, never quit. Over the weekend of April 23, 24 and 25 of 2021 I had the honor and pleasure of working and spending time with this awesome artist.
Friday, |April 23 I had arranged to film an interview with her on location at a gig at Boondox in Columbia TN. Claudette was performing with her band for an MC1 Records show there. Boondox is actually a Country style restaurant with a very nice stage. It was difficult to find a good background for our interview but eventually our camera man, John Townley, decided the only good place to shoot was in the storage room with a camera on a stack of chairs and a second camera on a tripod. It was cramped quarters for sure, but the background we used had a great look. With the corner of the monitor mixer board, the very cool stage lighting on the stage backdrop and stage gear, Claudette and I sat on two bar stools and shared her stories. I am not a reporter like 60 minutes when interviewing someone. I simply have a conversation with a guest and have a good time. Later that evening Claudette brought the house down with her great band and show.
Sunday, April 25, I was able to add to the interview filmed at Boondox, as King and I again met at Omni Studios in Nashville on Division Street. Claudette was laying down final vocals on two songs she recorded while here in Nashville. Omni studios is well known here in Nashville and the studio has won many awards and recognition for their great productions. On the wall are the awards of some of the greatest and most successful artists including Jewel, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and other superstars. We shot some video of Claudette's vocal tracking, which was a performance in itself. We captured her soulful interpretation of the two songs she tracked and those clips will be included in the interview to be broadcasted later on Television.
That was not the end of our day. Tony Pratt has a new show coming soon for Television about the paranormal and afterlife experiences. I had mentioned that to Claudette who said “I had one of those”. So I connected Tony and Claudette and we filmed her story of two death experiences in the back lounge of the Omni Studio. Claudette said she was sent back and is doing what she was told to do. You can expect to see a lot more of Claudette in 2021 as she is branching out into additional genres including Country music. She is following the guidance of her father B B King, who suggested to her that she branch out into other genres before he passed away. At the beginning of this article I mentioned the hardships and difficulties Claudette has had. Her book “My Dad And Me” is her story in both book and audio book formats, which is available on Amazon and other stores. It is her story. It is her journey, and it is her triumph. Her journey has been both difficult and rewarding, and it has ultimately led her to Nashville. Claudette King's journey to Nashville has definitely been the Hard Way.