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24th June
written by Matt The Cat

Bobby “Blue” Bland

Bobby Bland1930 – 2013

BOBBY “BLUE” BLAND passed away on June 23, 2013 at the age of 83 from complications from a long illness.  BLAND was one of the most influential blues cats of the mid-20th Century, coming out of Memphis with a style all his own.  He wasn’t gruff and he wasn’t raw…BLAND’s style was smooth and soulful.  He was born in Rosemark, TN on Jan. 27, 1930.  In Memphis, he joined up with The Beal Streeters, a revolving roster of musicians that at one time or another included B.B. King, Johnny Ace and Little Junior Parker.  BLAND debuted on Duke Records in 1952 with “I.O.U. Blues” b/w “Lovin’ Blues.”  After a stint in the Army took him away for a few years, he was back on Duke in ’55 with “Time Out” b/w “It’s My Life, Baby.”  His chart debut came in late summer, 1957 with the #1 R&B smash, “Further Up The Road” (Duke).  From there, BLAND racked up 62 more R&B hits up through 1985, including 2 more #1s (1961’s “I Pity The Fool” and 1963’s “That’s The Way Love Is”).  BOBBY “BLUE” BLAND was called the “Sinatra Of The Blues” due to his smoothness and phrasing, BUT the man could still scream…a full, hardy, soulful, almost other-worldly scream as witnessed in this 1962 R&B Top 10 classic, “Yield Not To Temptation,” one of my all-time favorite BOBBY BLAND tunes.  Rest in peace, Mr. BLAND.  We’ll sure miss you down here.

And his first record for Duke in 1952

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