” Bobby “Blue” Bland died on Sunday at the age of 83.
According to a family friend, Blues Hall of Fame recipient Robert Calvin “Bobby” Bland has died today. No other details were available.
Already the condolences are coming in.
Jim Hanzalik with World One Presents said, “”It’s with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to true legend and icon of the blues. Thank you for all the great memories, conversations and love you shared with us and your many fans. We love you and you’ll be missed – RIP Bobby Blue Bland.”
Jay Sieleman with the Blues Foundation called Bland the greatest blues singer in the world.”
” Born in Rosemark, Tennessee, Bobby Blue Bland, real name Robert Calvin “Bobby” Bland, is well known for blues hits such as “Turn On Your Love Light,” and R&B hits such as “That’s the Way Love Is,” but also in the hip hop community such as for his R&B hit “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City,” which was sampled by Kanye West on Jay-Z’s Hip Hop album The Blueprint.
In 1981, Bland was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, then the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, followed by the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.”
” Robert Calvin Bland aka Bobby “Blue” Bland (vocals; born January 27, 1930)
Bobby “Blue” Bland was born Robert Calvin Bland on January 27, 1930, in Rosemark, Tennessee, a small town near Memphis. When he was 17, he and his mother moved to Memphis. He worked at a garage during the week and sang spirituals on weekends. At various times, he served as a chauffeur for B.B. King and Roscoe Gordon and a valet for Junior Parker. He soon began hanging out on Beale Street, and he eventually became part of a loose-knit group called the Beale Streeters, which included Billy Duncan, Johnny Ace, B.B. King, Roscoe Gordon, Earl Forrest and Junior Parker.
After making some recordings for Duke Records, Bland was drafted into the Army in 1953. He returned to Memphis in 1955, only to find that everything had changed. Rock and roll was breaking down the old barriers between “race” and “pop,” and Duke Records had been sold to Don Robey. Bland spent the latter half of the Fifties maturing into a masterful singer and assured entertainer. His hallmark was his supple, confidential soul-blues delivery. As a singer, Bland projected a grainy, down-to-earth quality, punctuated with guttural growls and snorts that would come to be known as the “chicken-bone sound.” Yet his voice was simultaneously smooth as velvet, allowing Bland to bring audiences under his hypnotic spell as he walked a fine line between passionate expression and exquisite self-control.”
” Bobby’s first Duke single, “It’s My Life, Baby,” was released in 1955. Two years later, he scored with the seminal Texas shuffle “Farther Up The Road” (115 k, 10 sec.), which went to number 1 on the R&B charts. Follow-up records included two 1961 hits, “I Pity the Fool,” which also made it to number 1 on the R&B charts, and “Turn on Your Love Light,” which went to number 2. “That’s the Way Love Is,” a 1963 release, gave Bland his third number 1 hit.
From 1957 to 1961 Bland played the chitlin’ circuit with Junior Parker and his band, the Blue Flames. But in 1961 Bland broke with Parker, went out on his own, and rose to his greatest popularity. Because Bland neither composed nor played an instrument, he relied on others for songs and inspired instrumentation. Joe Scott, his bandleader and arranger, and for years one of Duke label owner Don Robey’s chief talent scouts, helped create Bland’s big-band sound. Just as important to Bland’s sound was guitarist Wayne Bennett, who complemented the horns and Bland’s vocals with jazz-influenced solos,a la T-Bone Walker and B.B. King.”
Rest In Peace Bobby “Blue” Bland