B.B. King and Orchestra
Agora Theater
New Haven, Connecticut

February 1981 (previously dated 1983)

Source: unknown recording gear

Transfer: Master cassette > Sony deck > SBAudigy2 > PC > Soundforge > CDarchitech > CDR

Additional post production: Soundforge > WAV > (EAC tested) > TLH [SB's aligned] Flac level 8

This recording originally surfaced on dime in June 2010. I forgot the uploaders name.

Traders Den 02/01/16.

Re-tracking and level balancing by kingrue upload 696.


It's been over 5 years and I thought it was time to revisit this recording and do some research on this.

For me, it was a huge curiosity with a suspicious date. I had to do a lot of homework on this to pull facts together.

Since I've spent decades studying BB, I guess I'd be the one to figure this out.

Now I will lay out the facts that I've compiled to prove my case that this comes from 1981 and not 1983.

The most notable issue is that BB mentions Leonard Gill as the guitar player.

Leonard Gill left the band around November 1982, being replaced by Leon Warren around December 1982.

Secondly, during this Agora show, BB has a 10 piece band. By the summer of 1982, BB had reduced his band down to 7 members.

There were 3 additional brass musicians in the band for this Agora show. I have dates of membership written below.

There is very little recorded evidence of these 3 members, which makes it hard to verify their exact time spent with BB.

Those 3 members are: Raymond Harris, Walter Berry, Robert Garner.

Though I need to mention that when BB introduces the band members and says Tenor Sax player Robert (Garner ?), it sounds like

he says Robert Dunn on the Agora tape. But to make things even more strange, I own a signature from 1981 from the Tenor Sax player,

clearly spells Robert Gann (though that could be a shorten quick scribble for Garner).

So there is a bit of mystery about the accurate name of the tenor sax player. Garner, Gann or Dunn?

Okay, I don't want to get side tracked here, back to the facts.

Thirdly, the song titled 'Gettin' On Down' is very rare that was never officially recorded and only played for a very short time.

I have a lot of live material from the 1983 tour and 'Gettin' on Down' was not played in 1983.

Luckily it was recorded live at another show in Norfolk, VA on Feb 14, 1981. (which surfaced about 18 months ago).

The band member listing for Norfolk matches that of the Agora show, except for a different drummer, but that's no big deal.

The horn players are all the same andthis is the key factor here.

Which in my opinion is the final validation that my belief of Agora being from an earlier date.

To narrow this down even more, looking through my tour database, it's plausible that BB was in New Haven around the first week

of February and also in Connecticut during the 4th week of May 1981.

BB had made the Connecticut area a regular stop during the early 80's.

From 1983 to 1990 BB King was playing at the Palace Theater in New Haven, no Agora gigs during this time.

With all things considered and facts presented, I'm making my best educated call and dating this February 1981.

I have spent a considerable amount of time looking for newspaper ads or reviews from the Agora and I couldn't find anything in print.

No posters, no ticket stubs, nothing.

10 Member Orchestra
Keyboards � Eugene Carrier (1980-1987)
Bass � Russell Jackson (1979-1984)
Guitar � Leonard Gill (1979-1982)
Drums � Herman Jackson (mid 1981-1982)
Trumpet � James Bolden (mid 1980-2015)
Trumpet � �The Chase� Walter Berry (Feb 1981 - July(?) 1981)
Trombone � "Sugar Ray" Raymond Harris (mid 1980 - mid 1981)
Tenor Sax � �The Memphis Kid� Robert Garner (1981 - ???) (This guy is a complete mystery to me.)
Baritone Sax � Eddie Synigal (1979-1981)
Conductor � Calvin Owens (1955-1957) (1979-1983)

Recording Notes:

BB mentions New Haven at the end of 'Thrill Is Gone', so we know this is New Haven.

EAC compression test indicates that this is a 2 channel Mono recording. I was a little disappointed to see that.

Now that I've seen the results, I'd bet that the master tape is in stereo and if this had been originally in mono, the channels

peaks would be slightly askew, but these peaks are perfectly aligned. It's clear to me that someone purposely made this into mono.

But don't let that bother you, this recording is really good quality.

I just wish I knew what recording gear was used and find the master so I could do a fresh transfer in stereo.

This also need retracking, I found 3 additional songs that needed to be separated and added into the set list.

The rare song 'Gettin' on Down' is quick and short and BB is trying to get down in the gutter and he almost makes it there.

Though his band doesn't get that low, his style of blues has always been an up-tempo blues.

Did you know that BB isn't even considered traditional blues... They say once you add horns, it ain't blues no more..

But BB still had the blues and this performance shows all of that.

I still need to discover when this precisely took place. I need to find newspaper reviews or advertisements for this concert.

Is there anyone in Traders Den or dime land that can find some piece of written document, placing an exact date.

oh and one more thing to mention. BB always did 2 shows per night (when he wasn't playing a festival gig).

Looking at the time length on this might sugggest that this is the Late Show.

Thanks for reading my novel, HA. My work here is done. Time to Get on Down !!!!

Side A
01 Blues Band #1
02 Blues Band #2
03 B.B. King Introduction Jam
04 Everyday I Have The Blues
05 Blues Instrumental
06 Caldonia
07 When It All Comes Down
08 Night Life

Side B
09 I Like To Live The Love
10 How Blue Can You Get
11 Why I Sing The Blues
12 Never Make Your Move Too Soon
13 Band Introductions
14 Gettin' On Down
15 Thrill Is Gone

Side C
16 Happy Birthday to Linda
17 I Just Can't Leave Your Love Alone
18 There Must Be A Better World
19 Fanfare Outro

Total Time = 98:30 min