From a Mississippi cotton plantation to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, B.B. King’s influence on the musical landscape was far reaching. Nicknamed “The King of Blues”, King was known to be a very active performer, often appearing in hundreds of concerts every year. Despite the frequency of his shows, archived footage from King’s concerts of the ‘60s and ‘70s was at risk without some sort of preservation strategy.
The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, curators of the majority of the musician’s audiovisual legacy and physical memorabilia, contracted Crawford for the digitization and backup of a number of King-related assets. Included in the original footage were interviews with members of King’s family, acquaintances from his childhood, a number of associates from his business management team, and conversations with King himself. There were also boxes of DVCPro originals of King performing in the 1960s and 1970s.
Because the footage planned for digitization was original sources (& without known duplicates or backups), caretakers from the Museum hand delivered the materials and remained onsite at Crawford during the totality of the migration. The Crawford LIFT digitization team adjusted the migration schedule to hasten the completion and shrink the project turnaround time. Assets delivered on Monday were written to drives by Saturday afternoon.
“The project included footage with very high value to our museum,” said Robert Terrell, Director of Operations from the B.B. King Museum. “Crawford gets high marks for both the timeliness and quality of work performed for us.”
In addition to providing preservation quality files, the newly digitized footage will contribute to the development of future museum exhibits and collections.