Robert Calvin “Bobby” Bland (January 27, 1930 – June 23, 2013, né Brooks), also known as Bobby “Blue” Bland, was an American singer of blues and soul. He was an original member of the Beale Streeters, and was sometimes referred to as the “Lion of the Blues”. His storied career came to an end this weekend, when he passed away at the age of 83 due to complications from an ongoing illness.
Bland was also known as the “Sinatra of the Blues” because of his super-suave persona and his flawless 1961 album Two Steps From the Blues, which should be required listening for anyone who appreciates soul. Along with such artists as Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Junior Parker, Bland developed a sound that mixed gospel with the blues and R&B. His music was also influenced by Nat King Cole.
Bland was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and received theGrammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.
To learn more about his life and music, click here. To see him do his thing, click below:
article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson