Bobby Bland - R.I.P Bobby Bland: "The Lion Of The Blues" Singer Dies Aged 83

The 'Turn On Your Love Light' star, also known as Bobby "Blues" Bland and "The Lion of the Blues", was extremely influential in the blues genre, establishing a unique sound that incorporating gospel-influenced singing into blues and R&B. Robert Calvin Bland was born in 1930 in Rosemark, Tennessee, and later moved to Memphis where he would join gospel groups and frequent Beale Street with its reputation for blues clubs. His career as a singer was temporarily put on hold after serving a stint in the US army, but he fell back into the music scene upon his return. He hit his No.1 spot on the R&B charts with his 1957 single 'Further On Up The Road' and continued to feature in the charts in the late fifties and sixties. He emerged as a unique blues singer with a characteristic vocal style, described by biographers as a "supple, confidential, soul-blues delivery" that would become known as a "chicken-bone sound", characterised by "guttural growls and snorts" whilst retaining a "smooth as velvet quality."

Listen To Blues Legend Bobby Bland Performing St James Infirmary:

As a performer, Bland was said to hypnotise audiences, walking "a fine line between passionate expression and exquisite self-control," with well-honed vocal influences including BB King and Aretha Franklin's father - Rev. C.F. Franklin.Bland's long-time collaborator, B.B. King spoke highly of his friend: "If I could sing like Bobby Bland I'd be a happy man."

In 1997, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award - a prestigious accolade only given to those "performers who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording." The many influenced by Bland's work include Van Morrison, The Grateful Dead, and Simply Red. Bobby Bland's passing yesterday (23rd June) followed complications from an ongoing illness.


Contactmusic

Tags: Bb King - Aretha Franklin - Van Morrison

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Sam Smith Announced As Performer At The 2014 MTV VMAs

British singer Sam Smith will soon be heading to the biggest gig of his life as he...

Sam Smith Announced As Performer At The 2014 MTV VMAs

David Letterman Opens Up About Longtime Friend Robin Williams' Suicide

David Letterman is no different to the many celebrities and stars who knew Robin...

David Letterman Opens Up About Longtime Friend Robin Williams' Suicide

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Confirms He Will Star In DC Comics' 'Shazam'

It was only a matter of time before Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson would star in...

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Confirms He Will Star In DC Comics' 'Shazam'

Taylor Swift Releases New Single, Music Video, And Album Details

Taylor Swift continues to move away from her country music roots at a rate of...

Taylor Swift Releases New Single, Music Video, And Album Details

Unlikely Pairings - When Comedians And Musicians Come Together

Following surprising reports that Las Vegas rockers The Killers invited British comedian...

Unlikely Pairings - When Comedians And Musicians Come Together

Benedict Cumberbatch To Star In Andy Serkis' 'Jungle Book: Origins'

Warner Bros. steams ahead with its planned The Jungle Book: Origins movie by...

Benedict Cumberbatch To Star In Andy Serkis' 'Jungle Book: Origins'

DiCaprio, Johansson, Laurie: A Sneak Peak At Celebrity Auditions

TV and film superstars often don’t seem like real people. They live on a screen in...

DiCaprio, Johansson, Laurie: A Sneak Peak At Celebrity Auditions

Reviews Round-Up: Smokey Robinson's Collaboration Album 'Smokey & Friends'

Soul and R&B legend Smokey Robinson releases a new album this week entitled...

Reviews Round-Up: Smokey Robinson's Collaboration Album 'Smokey & Friends'

Filming Of Next 'Resident Evil' Movie Postponed Due To Milla Jovovich's Pregnancy

The filming of the sixth instalment of the Resident Evil film franchise has...

Filming Of Next 'Resident Evil' Movie Postponed Due To Milla Jovovich's Pregnancy
Advertisement

Comments

Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All