Today we remember a great collaboration between giants of blues and soul, and the late and great B.B. King’s 1970s connection with Stevie Wonder. B.B’s album To Know You Is To Love You, produced by Dave Crawford and with a title song co-written by Stevie and Syreeta Wright, made its US chart debut on 8 September 1973.
By this time, B.B. was well into his stride of impressive album releases for the ABC label, a sequence that had begun in 1970 with Indianola Mississippi Seeds. The 1973 album also had the distinction of Stevie Wonder playing keyboards, while Wayne Jackson and the Memphis Horns also added to the richness of the sound. ‘To Know You Is To Love You’ was the lead single from the set and reached No. 12 R&B, just edging into the pop top 40 at No. 38.
King himself contributed two compositions, ‘Love’ and ‘Thank You For Loving The Blues,’ while Crawford, who also played keyboards, co-wrote four tunes including the well-remembered ‘I Like To Live The Love,’ with another keyboardist, Charles Mann. Released as the follow-up single, it was an even bigger soul hit, peaking at No. 6, and No. 28 pop.
The album debuted on the Billboard chart at No. 148 and went as high as No. 71. Remarkably, it would be 27 years before the blues legend went beyond that on the US LP chart, when his Grammy-winning Riding With The King collaboration with Eric Clapton reached No. 3.
Purchase To Know You Is To Love You.