'Lucille' guitar has new home at Shrine to Music A guitar autographed by legendary blues artist B.B. King now has a home in America's Shrine to Music Museum in Vermillion.
The custom-built, black Gibson ES-355 "Lucille," B.B. King's signature guitar, was unveiled as a new addition to the Shrine to Music July 15 during a public ceremony. The guitar will stand as testament to the legacy of B.B. King, one of the defining figures of blues music for five decades.
"Lucille" came to the Shrine to Music through the efforts of many, notably T. Wilson King, Vermillion, a blues musician in his own right, his wife Sandra and family.
T. Wilson King, in the 1960s and '70s, played on the street corners, at coffee shops, house parties and honky-tonks in California. As he developed his career, he met many legendary musicians � Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Luther Allison and B.B. King. From those experiences, and with his belief in the enduring importance of the blues, stemmed T. Wilson King's idea to bring "Lucille" to Vermillion. The idea was presented to Andre Larson, the museum's director, and plans were put in place.
Money to purchase the guitar was raised by two benefit concerts. The first was held in Farber Hall at The University of South Dakota, featuring performances by local musicians James Dean, Nick Schwebach, Owen DeJong, T. Wilson King and Buzz Johnson. Another concert, at the Main Street Blues Club in Sioux Falls, featured Sioux Falls musicians, including Mike Connor and Terry Pospisil. Funds were also raised from private contributions and donations from Vermillion area businesses.
With the help of Dave Bernstein, a Sioux City concert promoter, T. Wilson King was able to have B.B. King sign the guitar when he was in Omaha last November for a performance.