Bobby Blue Bland Just Slaaaaaaays Me, Every Time.

Live in Chicago, 1977

The 80-year-old blues singer was honored by the Mississippi Senate yesterday:

Lawmakers honored Blues legend Bobby “Blue” Bland at the Capitol today.

The state Senate watched a video with Bland’s music, highlighting his achievements. Bland, 80, was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

“I’m so happy to be here today,” Bland said.

Sen. David Jordan, D-Greenwood, said a Senate resolution honoring Bland is an “everlasting award to a great American.”

“We have with us an icon,” Jordan said.

Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, said: “If BB King is the king of the blues then Bobby Blue is the crowned prince.”

Bobby “Blue” Bland was born in the small town of Rosemark, Tennessee, USA. 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 Little Junior Parker. Initially he doubled as valet and driver, a role he reportedly fulfilled for B. B. King and Rosco Gordon.[3] 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.


I understand that all the embellishments and interjections are meticulously rehearsed; the fact that they sound so spontaneous is testimony to Bland’s total commitment to the material. That phlegmy yawp he does never fails to send me over the edge.

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