Bobby (Blue) Bland was known for his emotionally piercing delivery and snappy sartorial style.
Bobby (Blue) Bland, the balladeer whose sophisticated style modernized the blues, has died at his home in Germantown, near Memphis, aged 83. Bobby's death was confirmed his son Rodd, who played drums in his band. Despite possessing all the natural attributes of, say, Ray Charles and B.B King, Bland never reached the same lofty heights as some of his more popular contemporaries though remained a mainstay on the rhythm-and-blues circuit for decades.
His vocals, punctuated by the occasional James Brown esque shout, took on an air of emotional pleading and he influenced everyone from Otis Redding to Wilson Pickett. Younger music fans may recognise Mr Bland's 1974 single 'Ain't No Love In The Heart of the City' on his 2001 album The Blueprint.
Mr Bland matched his sharp vocals with elegant stage wear and became a hugely recognisable performer on the circuit. He formed a close working bond with trumpet player and arranger Joe Scott, the men accounting for more than 30 Top 20 rhythm-and-blues singles for Duke Records in Houston. Many contemporary rock bands covered songs from these years, including The Grateful Dead (Love Light), The Band (Share Your Love With Me), and Van Morrison (Ain't Nothing You Can Do).
Continue reading: Modern Bluesman Bobby Blue Bland Dies In Memphis Aged 83
TV commercials have always been a time for fresh, new and unheard song covers to emerge as well as the old classics especially during the holiday season, just to make the product invoke that little bit of nostalgia to fuel the Christmas shopping fever.
This year is no different as we have, of course, rising star Gabrielle Aplin with her stunning rendition of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 1984 hit 'Power of Love' recorded for John Lewis' new seasonal advert. It has already reached number one in the UK and is set to also feature on her upcoming debut album 'English Rain'. In fact, people have loved it so much that Twinings tea have also snapped up the tune for their advert which will no doubt help Aplin's career skyrocket over the coming months.
Shot in 1969 at an outdoor concert that precluded Woodstock, the film defies the stereotype of the general population at the time. Sure, some have painted their faces and smoke joints, but D.A. Pennebaker (The War Room, Moon Over Broadway) surprisingly chooses to show a broad spectrum of the audience. No matter who is watching, it all comes back to the talented musicians that stir your soul.
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