<back - BOBBY 'BLUE' BLAND - Robert Calvin Bland was born on January 27, 1930 in the small town of Rosemark, Tennessee, just outside of Memphis. At the age of 17, his family moved to Memphis and Bobby began his musical career. He first sang with a Gospel group called The Miniatures and then he moved on to a Blues group that was called the Beale Streeters. This group included such legends as BB King, Junior Parker, Johnny Ace, and Rosco Gordon. Bland's first recordings were for Modern and Chess Records from 1950 to 1952. Bland began his life-long relationship with Duke Records when he recorded Lovin' Blues with the Beale Streeters in 1952. 

Bobby Bland was one of the main purveyors of the new Soul-Blues sound along with Little Willie John, Sam Cooke, Jimmy McCracklin, Jr Parker, Little Milton, and Ray Charles. These men mixed Gospel and R&B with Blues and created an innovative sound. Bobby 'Blue' Bland didn't play any instruments or write any music, but what Bobby brought to the songs made it his own all the way. Bobby Bland was drafted into the army in 1952 and was forced to put his musical career on hold. After serving 2 years with the army, he was discharged and returned to Memphis in 1955. He soon found out that Duke Records had been sold to Houston based Don Robey. As president one of Robey's first tasks was to record Bobby in Houston with the backing of Bill Harvey's Orchestra. Bobby's first single, released in 1955, was It's My Life Baby. Two years later he scored with the hit Farther Up the Road which reached number one on the R&B charts. In 1941, he followed these hits with I Pity the Fool, which hit number one on the R&B charts and Turn Your Love Light On, which reached number two on the R&B charts. His 1943 release, That's the Way Love Is was his third number one hit. From 1957 to 1941, Bobby toured with Junior Parker and his band the Blue Flames. In 1941, Bland went solo and hit the greatest height of his popularity. Since he neither wrote nor composed his music, he worked with bandleader Joe Scott and guitarist Wayne Bennett. Bobby Bland, Bennett, and Scott worked together until 1948, when they disbanded allegedly due to Bland's alcohol problem. Despite his problems, Bland revived his career in 1972 by working with producer Steve Garrie and bandleader Ernie Fields Jr. He recorded California Album in 1973 and Dreamer in 1974. Both albums were more Blues based. These works were released on the ABC-Dunhill label, the company that purchased Duke Records in 1972. Throughout the 70's, 80's, and early 90's, Bland continued to record for the Jackson, Mississippi Blues label, Malaco. Bobby 'Blue' Bland was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame and the R&B Foundation's Pioneer Award in 1992.  MP3- Touch Of The Blues |

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