Bobby Bland

Real Name:
Robert Calvin Brooks
Profile:
Bobby Bland (born January 27, 1930, Rosemark, Tennessee, USA - died June 23, 2013, Germantown, Tennessee, USA) was an American blues and R&B singer. He was sometimes referred to as the "Lion of the Blues" and as the "Sinatra of the Blues".

In 1947, he moved to Memphis with his mother and 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 including B.B. King, Rosco Gordon, Little Junior Parker and Johnny Ace, who collectively took the name of the "Beale Streeters". Between 1950 and 1952, he recorded unsuccessful singles for Modern Records (2) and, at Ike Turner's suggestion, for Sun Record Company — who licensed their recordings to the Chess label — before signing for Duke Records. When Bland returned to Memphis in 1954 he found several of his former associates, including Johnny Ace, enjoying considerable success. He joined Ace's revue, and returned to Duke Records, which by that time had started to be run by Houston entrepreneur Don Robey. Bland released his first single for Duke in 1955. In 1956 he began touring on the "chitlin' circuit" with Junior Parker in a revue called Blues Consolidated, initially doubling as Parker's valet and driver, roles he also reportedly fulfilled for B.B. King and Rosco Gordon. He began recording for Duke with bandleader Bill Harvey and arranger Joseph Scott (2), asserting his characteristic vocal style and, with Harvey and Scott, beginning to craft the melodic big band blues singles for which he became famous, often accompanied by guitarist Wayne Bennett (2).

His first chart success came in 1957 with the R&B chart no. 1 hit "Farther Up the Road", which also reached no.43 on the Billboard Hot 100, and followed it up with a series of hits on the R&B chart including "Little Boy Blue" (1958). He also shared an album with Parker, Blues Consolidated, in 1958. Bland's craft was most clearly heard on a series of early 1960's releases including "Cry Cry Cry", "I Pity The Fool" — an R&B chart no.1 in 1961 — and "Turn On Your Love Light", which became a much covered standard. Despite credits to the contrary — often claimed by Robey— many such classic works were written by Joseph Scott. His final R&B no.1 came with "That's The Way Love Is" in 1963. However, he continued to enjoy a consistent run of R&B chart entries throughout the mid-1960's. Never truly breaking into the mainstream market, Bland's highest charting song on the pop chart, "Ain't Nothing You Can Do" peaked at #20 in 1964. He had 23 Top Ten hits on the Billboard R&B charts. Joel Whitburn ranked Bland the 13th all-time R&B charting artist in his 1996 book "Top R&B Singles 1942-1995". Financial pressures forced the singer to cut his touring band and in 1968 the group broke up. His record company Duke Records was sold by owner Don Robey to the larger ABC Records group. This resulted in several successful and critically acclaimed contemporary blues/soul albums including "His California Album" (1973) and "Dreamer" (1974). The first single released from "His California Album", "This Time I'm Gone For Good" took Bland back into the pop Top 50 for the first time since 1964 and made the R&B top 10 in late 1973. In 1985, Bland was signed by Malaco Records, specialists in traditional Southern black music for whom he made a series of albums while continuing to tour and appear at concerts with fellow blues singer B. B. King.

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. Bland continued performing until shortly before his death. He died on June 23, 2013 at his home in Germantown, Tennessee, a suburb of Memphis, after what family members described as "an ongoing illness".
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Albums

DLP 74 Bobby Bland - Two Steps From The Blues album art Bobby Bland Two Steps From The Blues (Album) Duke DLP 74 US 1961 Sell This Version
DLP-75, DLP 75 Bobby Bland - Here's The Man album art Dynamic Bobby Bland* Here's The Man (Album) Duke DLP-75, DLP 75 Canada 1962 Sell This Version
CLP 5358 Bobby Bland - Bobby "Blue" Bland, Jimmy Soul And Johnny "Guitar" Watson album art Bobby "Blue" Bland*, Jimmy Soul And Johnny "Guitar" Watson* Bobby "Blue" Bland*, Jimmy Soul And Johnny "Guitar" Watson* - Bobby "Blue" Bland, Jimmy Soul And Johnny "Guitar" Watson (Album) Crown Records (2) CLP 5358 US 1963 Sell This Version
DLP 77 Bobby Bland - Call On Me / That's The Way Love Is album art Bobby Bland Call On Me / That's The Way Love Is (Album) Duke DLP 77 US 1963 Sell This Version
VA-P 8027 Bobby Bland - Ain't Nothing You Can Do album art Bobby Bland Ain't Nothing You Can Do (Album) Duke, Duke VA-P 8027 UK 1964 Sell This Version
DLP 79 Bobby Bland - The Soul Of The Man album art Bobby Bland The Soul Of The Man (Album) Duke DLP 79 US 1966 Sell This Version
DLP 88 Bobby Bland - Touch Of The Blues album art Bobby Bland Touch Of The Blues (Album) Duke DLP 88 US 1968 Sell This Version
SORLP-4335 Bobby Bland - Spotlighting The Man album art Bobby Bland Spotlighting The Man (Album) Duke SORLP-4335 Venezuela 1969 Sell This Version
SPBA 3071 Bobby Bland - His California Album album art Bobby Blue Bland* His California Album (Album) ABC/Dunhill Records SPBA 3071 Australia 1973 Sell This Version
8023-50190 Z Bobby Bland - Together For The First Time... Live album art B.B. King & Bobby Bland B.B. King & Bobby Bland - Together For The First Time... Live (Album) ABC/Dunhill Records 8023-50190 Z US 1974 Sell This Version
DSX 50169 Bobby Bland - Dreamer album art Bobby Bland Dreamer (Album) ABC/Dunhill Records DSX 50169 US 1974 Sell This Version
ABCD-895 Bobby Bland - Get On Down With Bobby Bland album art Bobby Bland Get On Down With Bobby Bland (Album) ABC Records ABCD-895 US 1975 Sell This Version
ABC-7025, LP-7025 Bobby Bland - Together Again...Live album art Bobby Bland & B.B. King Bobby Bland & B.B. King - Together Again...Live (Album) ABC Impulse! ABC-7025, LP-7025 Venezuela 1976 Sell This Version
AB-1018 Bobby Bland - Reflections In Blue album art Bobby Bland Reflections In Blue (Album) ABC Records AB-1018 US 1977 Sell This Version
9022-1075 Bobby Bland - Come Fly With Me album art Bobby Bland Come Fly With Me (Album) ABC Records 9022-1075 Canada 1978 Sell This Version
MCA-3157 Bobby Bland - I Feel Good, I Feel Fine album art Bobby Bland I Feel Good, I Feel Fine (Album) MCA Records MCA-3157 US 1979 Sell This Version
MCA-5145 Bobby Bland - Sweet Vibrations album art Bobby "Blue" Bland* Sweet Vibrations (Album) MCA Records MCA-5145 US 1980 Sell This Version
MCA 5233 Bobby Bland - Try Me, I'm Real album art Bobby Bland Try Me, I'm Real (Album) MCA Records MCA 5233 US 1981 Sell This Version
MCA-5297 Bobby Bland - Here We Go Again album art Bobby Bland Here We Go Again (Album) MCA Records MCA-5297 Canada 1982 Sell This Version
MCA-884 Bobby Bland - Tell Mr. Bland album art Bobby Bland Tell Mr. Bland (Album) MCA Records MCA-884 US 1983 Sell This Version
MCA 5503 Bobby Bland - You've Got Me Loving You album art Bobby Bland You've Got Me Loving You (Album) MCA Records MCA 5503 US 1984 Sell This Version
MAL LP004 Bobby Bland - Members Only album art Bobby Bland Members Only (Album) Malaco Records MAL LP004 UK 1985 Sell This Version
MALC 7439, MAL 7439 Bobby Bland - After All album art Bobby Bland After All (Album) Malaco Records MALC 7439, MAL 7439 US 1986 Sell This Version
MCAD-20796 Bobby Bland - I Like To Live The Love album art Bobby Bland, B.B. King Bobby Bland, B.B. King - I Like To Live The Love (Album, Comp) MCA Special Products MCAD-20796 US 1987 Sell This Version
MAL-7444-CD Bobby Bland - Blues You Can Use album art Bobby Bland Blues You Can Use (Album) Malaco Records MAL-7444-CD US 1987 Sell This Version