Guitar Aficionado

WATCH: Preview of New B.B. King Documentary, ‘The Life of Riley’

The film comes to theaters May 21.
Publish date:
Updated on

By Christopher Scapelliti

The extraordinary life of B.B. King comes to screens on May 21 in the feature-length documentary The Life of Riley.

Born Riley B. King, B.B. was orphaned as a child and worked in cotton fields. The Life of Riley tells how he battled racism and segregation, as well as some of the entertainment industry’s toughest critics, to become a kingpin of the blues.

Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the documentary includes appearances and contributions from guitarists Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Derek Trucks, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Walsh, Johnny Winter, Bonnie Raitt, George Benson, Ronnie Wood, Slash, and numerous others.

Tickets for the theatrical screenings will go on sale beginning May 1, only at

The film will be available on VOD on June 1 and on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital platforms on June 17. The DVD and Blu-ray release includes live footage from the Royal Albert Hall and bonus interviews with Buddy Guy, Ronnie Wood, Bonnie Raitt, Derek Trucks, Bobby Bland, Walter Trout, Susan Tedeschi, Carlos Santana, Joe Bonamassa, Dr John, John Mayall, Slash, and Leon Russell.

The Life of Riley Original Soundtrack will be available digitally on May 20. The soundtrack follows the music sequence of the film and contains career-spanning songs featured in the movie, from King’s 1951 hit "3 O'Clock Blues" to his 2000 duet with Clapton, "Riding with the King," plus two live songs never available on digital or CD, "Walking Dr. Bill" and "Sweet Sixteen."