Bobby Bland life and biography

Bobby Bland picture, image, poster

Bobby Bland biography

Date of birth : 1930-01-27
Date of death : 2013-06-23
Birthplace : Rosemark, Tennessee, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2014-01-31
Credited as : Singer, the Lion of the Blues, Beale Streeters member

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Robert Calvin Bland better known as Bobby "Blue" Bland, was a well-known American singer of blues and soul. He was an original member of the Beale Streeters, and was sometimes referred to as the "Lion of the Blues". Along with such artists as Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Junior Parker, Bland developed a sound that mixed gospel with the blues and R&B.

Bobby Bland was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

Bland called it a "squall" — the choked, gospel-inspired near-scream that became his trademark. "I got the idea from Rev. C.L. Franklin, Aretha's father," Bland told Rolling Stone. "I had to work with that a long time before I got it to perfection." But Bland, whose admirers range from Van Morrison to Jay-Z, was more than a blues shouter — on the quieter moments of signature tunes such as "I Pity the Fool" and "Turn On Your Love Light," he could just as easily adopt a smooth, uptown croon, complete with elegant vibrato, like his early hero Nat "King" Cole. "If I could sing like Bobby Bland," said his longtime collaborator B.B. King, "I'd be a happy man." Adds Gregg Allman, "It's a one-of-a-kind voice — I wonder how many people tore up their throats trying to imitate that shout."

Bland's recordings from the early 1950s show him striving for individuality, but any progress was halted by a spell in the U.S. Army. When the singer returned to Memphis in 1954 he found several of his former associates, including Johnny Ace, enjoying considerable success, while Bland's recording label, Duke, had been sold to Houston entrepreneur Don Robey. In 1956 Bland began touring with Little Junior Parker. Initially he doubled as valet and driver, a role he reportedly fulfilled for B. B. King and Rosco Gordon.

Simultaneously, Bland began asserting his characteristic vocal style. Melodic big-band blues singles, including "Farther Up the Road" (1957) and "Little Boy Blue" (1958) reached the US R&B Top 10, but Bobby's craft was most clearly heard on a series of early 1960s releases including "Cry Cry Cry", "I Pity The Fool" and the sparkling "Turn On Your Love Light", which became a much-covered standard. Despite credits to the contrary, many such classic works were written by Joe Scott, the artist's bandleader and arranger.


-Blues Consolidated - 1958 (Duke Records)
-Like Er Red Hot - 1960 (Duke Records)
-Two Steps from the Blues (Duke 1961/MCA 2002)
-Here's the Man! - 1962 (Duke Records)
-Call On Me - 1963 (Duke Records)
-Ain't Nothing You Can Do - 1964 (Duke Records)
-The Soul of The Man" - 1966 (Duke Records)
-Touch of The Blues - 1967 (Duke Records)
-The Best Of - 1967 (Duke Records)
-The Best Of Volume 2 - 1968 (Duke Records)
-Spotlighting The Man - 1969 (Duke Records)
-His California Album - 1973 (Dunhill Records)
-Dreamer - 1974 (Dunhill Records)
-Together for the First Time (with B.B.King) - 1974 (ABC)
-Get On Down - 1975 (ABC Records)
-Bobby Bland and B. B. King Together Again...Live - 1976 (ABC)
-Reflections In Blue - 1977 (ABC Records)
-Come Fly With Me - 1978 (ABC Records)
-I Feel Good - 1979 (MCA Records)
-Sweet Vibrations - 1980 (MCA 27076) Tribute to Joe Scott
-Here We Go Again - 1982 (MCA 5297)
-Members Only - 1985 (Malaco Records)
-After All - 1986 (Malaco Records)
-Blues You Can Use - 1987 (Malaco Records)
-First Class Blues - 1987 (Malaco Records)
-Midnight Run -1989 (Malaco Records)
-Portrait of the Blues - 1991 (Malaco Records)
-Years of Tears - 1993 (Malaco Records)
-Sad Street- 1995 (Malaco Records)
-Live On Beale Street-1998 (Malaco Records)
-Memphis Monday Morning-1998 (Malaco Records)
-Blues At Midnight - 2003 (Malaco Records)

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