After it was confirmed by Emily Wolfe during an Instagram livestream earlier this year that a new Epiphone B.B. King Lucille model was on the way, Gibson has announced the electric guitar will be officially released next month.
The news was confirmed yesterday (September 16) – which marked King’s 96th birthday – with both Gibson and the B.B King Music Company reaffirming their commitment to preserving the legacy of the blues guitar icon by announcing the B.B King Legacy Initiative.
As well as maintaining their commitment to preserving King’s legendary name and repertoire, the initiative will also aim to introduce his music to a new generation of audiences around the world.
Though the Epi Lucille is first up on the agenda, both brands have teased that this is just the tip of the iceberg, saying there is “so much more” in the pipeline for us to look forward to. Such projects include a theatrical biopic, a 24-hour blues channel and more signature models.
As for the Epi, October 19 is the official date for when the guitar is set to land and, though there are currently few specs to go off, Wolfe’s initial run-out of the elegant guitar gave us a glimpse of what to expect. That includes a TP6 tailpiece with fine tuners and a sleek Ebony finish.
A Varitone switch, B.B. King signature-embossed truss rod cover and a Kalamazoo-style headstock will also feature on the guitar’s blueprint.
Of the rejuvenated partnership, Chairman of the B.B. King Music Company Vassal Benford said, “It has been a pleasure working with the Gibson team in developing a new line of B.B. King Signature Lucille guitars.
“I am especially proud of the forthcoming new Epiphone guitar and delivering a true work of art that will be broadly accessible, awakening B.B. King’s life and legacy to new artists.” he continued. “Gibson is a tremendous partner and they have demonstrated a sincere alignment with our mission to not only preserve the legacy of B.B. King, but to expose new artists to his music.
“This is just the beginning, a theatrical release biopic movie is near production, as well as the creation of ‘The B.B. King Experience’ as a touring show, and a residency experience in Las Vegas.
“We will also be creating a new catalog of music collaborations with contemporary artists, and several lines of new B.B. King products are in development.”
Added Elizabeth Heidt, VP of Cultural Influence-Global, Gibson Brands, “B.B. King is a cornerstone of Gibson’s music history, and we are honored to bring his legendary music and persona to a new audience.
“From high-end Gibson Custom Shop guitars to more accessible Epiphone models we will be offering beautiful guitars for every fan to help carry on his vast music legacy.”