Lost BB King tapes discovered from 1979

The audio recordings of a 1979 BB King concert in Russia from behind the Iron Curtain have never been heard until now.

The audio recordings of a 1979 BB King concert in Russia from behind the Iron Curtain have never been heard until now.

The cassettes of this concert were lost for nearly 36 years and Chasing News got a chance to hear the audio being rendered for the first time.
 
The legendary Eastside Sound recording studio on the Lower East Side, is where music icons like Beyoncé, Santana, and Sting have played.

Howard Leder, a New York-based music producer and arranger, had a long career, but one of the highlights was when King hired him to work on a live concert album.
 
Leder mentioned that BB King hired him, right after the Russian tour, to work on producing a live album.

They were choosing between to live concerts: Ole Miss or what you just heard BB King playing behind the Iron Curtain.
 
They ended up choosing Ole Miss and these tapes went in the closet.
 
After BB King's death in May, Howard couldn't stop thinking about these tapes.
 
"I was looking for this for over a decade and I just thought it was lost. About three weeks ago my wife is looking in the closet and she came up to me with these cassettes," Leder said.
 
So, he contacted Eastside Sound and they said let’s make an audio master of these tapes.

When mixing, they had no idea what was going to come out of the speakers.  One major roadblock was finding a tape player, but once they got it the mixing began. 
 
Sitting in the legendary recording studio, with two musical geniuses, learning how to mix and listening to this lost piece of history was magical.
 
Leder explained that this concert was revolutionary.

The state department and BB King put together a concert tour, which hit 22 cities in Russia. It was one of the first times during the Cold War than American had performed behind the Iron Curtain.
 
The most incredible finding in the recording was the last song.  BB King had an interpreter come out and translate it, since the audience didn’t speak English.

It was the first time the crowd understood what the King was saying- and they went wild. 

This concert series influenced the rest of his career.

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