Today we celebrate the birthday of Bobby Blue Bland. A lion of the rhythm and blues. A velvet voiced storyteller and soul-stirring songwriter. He was born on January 27, 1930 just north of Memphis, Tennessee.
On June 23, 2013 we lost one of the greatest blues balladeers of all time. Bobby Blue Bland passed away at the age of 83. A talented vocalist with a keen sensitivity, he matched delicacy with dynamism, refinement with raw emotion. His combination of sophisticated lyricism and down-home vernacular helped modernize the blues.
But it’s his passion and tenderness that remains unmatched—Bobby Bland had the power to bring even the most stoic listener to his knees with a soft moan or a bristling growl. It’s no wonder he was honored in 1997 with a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement.
For an extended bio and an exclusive interview from the BluesMobile archives, read my Bobby “Blue” Bland post.