Bobby Blue Bland has died at the age of 83, in his home in Germantown, Tennessee. He was born as Robert Calvin Bland on January 27, 1930 in Rosemark Tennessee. Bland was mostly known as a singer, but played the harmonica.
Blues was the quintessential blues singer, that could make you feel the songs he was singing. I will never forget hearing him sing Stormy Monday Blues the first time. No other singer could sing that song with as much passion as Bland.
I bought a cassette of some of Bland’s hits, but knowing that finding something to play a cassette on is not easy decided to purchase Bobby Blue Bland: The Anthology.
The CD includes 50 of his best known songs, plus a few lesser known songs, but that doesn’t matter if they are known or not, since Bland’s delivery made them all sound good.
Some of my favorites from the CD:
Farther On Up The Road – One of his faster songs that went to No.1 on the R&B charts.
I’ll Take Care Of You – Slow ballad sung like only Bobby Blue Bland could sing it. Went to No.2 on R&B charts.
Cry, Cry, Cry – Another slow ballad that peaked at No.9 on R&B charts, but was a No.1 song for me.
I Pity The Fool – A more upbeat song that would top the R&B charts in 1961.
Stormy Monday Blues – A blues classic that surprisingly peaked at No.5 on R&B charts for Bland. Don’t understand why it wasn’t No.1.
That’s The Way Love Is – This song apparently was on the charts twice, since it is shown at No.1 and No.6. The song would be his last No.1 song for Duke Records and the last one of his career.
Turn On Your Love Light – A song that viewers of the second Blue Brothers movie will remember and this song went to No.2 for Bland.
Good Time Charlie – A catchy upbeat song that peaked at No.6 on R&B charts.
This is an album that you can turn on and relax and enjoy the musical stylings of a great blues artist, for close to three hours of listening to the blues at their best.
Readers can listen to short clips of songs from the CD:
The following New York Times obituary says Bland never played an instrument or wrote songs, but that didn’t matter because his voice is all that mattered to his fans.
I had heard the name Bobby Blue Bland for years, but never really listened to his music till the last few years and will be listening to his music for many more years. I can’t remember him being on television much over the years, but then not many blues artists besides B.B. King were seen on television much. I can’t remember Freddie King or Albert King being featured on television.
Anyone that was fortunate enough to hear Bobby Blue Bland heard one of the great blues artists of our time.
RIP Bobby Blue Bland.