Robert Calvin “Bobby” Bland (born January 27, 1930), is also known as Bobby “Blue” Bland. He is an original member of the Beale Streeters, and is 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 bluesand R&B.
It’s my own fault, B.B. King and Bobby Bland live on Soul Train:
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. He was also inducted into The Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2012.
Happy birthday Bobby Bland!
This great picture was taken when Elvis returned to the WDIA Goodwill Revue on December 6, 1957, it’s a stylish shot of him ‘talking shop’ withLittle Junior Parker and Bobby ‘Blue‘ Bland and appeared in Memphis’s mainstream afternoon paper, ‘The Press-Scimitar’, accompanied by a short feature that made Elvis’ feelings abundantly clear. ‘It was the real thing’, he said, summing up both performance and audience response. ‘Right from the heart’ (Elvis Australia)
Allmusic.com (Bill Dahl):
Bobby Bland earned his enduring blues superstar status the hard way: without a guitar, harmonica, or any other instrument to fall back upon. All Bland had to offer was his magnificent voice, a tremendously powerful instrument in his early heyday, injected with charisma and melisma to spare. Just ask his legion of female fans, who deemed him a sex symbol late into his career. (Read More)
My Favourite Bobby Bland track is his version of St. James Infirmary, and thankfully it is part of today’s Spotify album, but here is a very nice live version:
Bland was born in the small town of Rosemark, Tennessee. Later moving to Memphis with his mother, Bland started singing with local gospel groups there, including amongst others The Miniatures. Eager to expand his interests, he began frequenting the city’s famous Beale Street where he became associated with an ad hoc circle of aspiring musicians named, not unnaturally, the Beale Streeters.
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 Junior Parker. Initially he doubled as valet and driver, a role he reportedly fulfilled for B. B. Kingand 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.
Todays chosen album is the classic, Two Steps From The Blues:
Other 27. January:
Elmore James was born in 1918:
Elmore James (January 27, 1918 – May 24, 1963) was an American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and band leader. He was known as “the King of the Slide Guitar” and had a unique guitar style, noted for his use of loud amplification and his stirring voice.
One of the greatest songs ever… – Dust My Broom:
- Michael Allan “Mike” Patton (born January 27, 1968) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and actor, best known as the lead singer of the metal/experimental rock band Faith No More. He has also sung for Mr. Bungle (which preceded his involvement with FNM), Tomahawk, Fantômas, Lovage, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Peeping Tom.
- Mahalia Jackson (October 26, 1911 – January 27, 1972) was an African-American gospel singer. Possessing a powerful contralto voice, she was referred to as “The Queen of Gospel”. Jackson became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world, and was heralded internationally as a singer and civil rights activist; entertainer Harry Belafonte called her “the single most powerful black woman in the United States”. She recorded about 30 albums (mostly for Columbia Records) during her career, and her 45 rpm records included a dozen “golds”—million-sellers.