The word ‘legend’ is wildly overused these days. One figure who genuinely deserves the epithet, however, is king of the blues Riley B King — better known by his stage name BB King.

A new autobiography seeks to tell the story of a musician described as the last great bluesman.

Showing for one night only at the Odeon, George Street, on Monday, BB King: The Life Of Riley recounts one of the most influential and inspirational stories in the history of music.

And Oxfordshire film and music buffs have special reason for taking an interest as it was edited, shot and scripted by a notable local musician himself — Matthew Greenham of the band Empty Vessels.

Narrated by Morgan Freeman and directed and produced by Jon Brewer, it is a testament to the influence of a man who, with his string bending and use of vibrato, rewrote the guitar player’s manual.

Starting off in humble circumstances in a cabin on a cotton plantation near of Berclair, Mississippi, King’s tale is truly one of rags to riches, moving from farm and church choir to Memphis musician and radio DJ. And it is that time in Memphis — on whose famous musical strip he earned his nickname ‘Beale Street Blues Boy’ — or shortened to ‘Blues Boy’ or ‘BB’ — that makes enthralling viewing. It is also a tale of triumph over adversity — a man who overcame poverty, racism and a bigoted music industry to perform more than 15,000 shows and sell in excess of 40 million records worldwide to date.

“It was amazing to work on this film,” says Matt, who made two trips to America to make the film. “I’ve been so lucky, it’s unbelievable. I was in awe of the guy. He has an aura around him – and is such a dude. He’s 87 but so switched on it was exhilarating.”

It wouldn’t be giving much away to say BB makes good, going on to influence the likes of Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Jeff Beck, and a scene of the guitarist jamming at the Whitehouse with Barack Obama shows how far the USA’s come.

The use of rare archive photos and footage, along with personal interviews and contributions by Clapton, Bono, Ringo Starr, Carlos Santana, Bill Wyman, Slash, Bonnie Raitt, Peter Green, Buddy Guy, Ronnie Wood, and even Bruce Willis make this a and captivating documentary with a stunning soundtrack.

l The Odeon, George Street, Oxford 0871 224 4007. Monday 9pm.

l Empty Vessels play the Wheatsheaf, Oxford, Saturday, 8pm.