Soul of the Man: Bobby

Soul of the Man: Bobby "Blue" Bland

by Charles Farley


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Bobby "Blue" Bland's silky smooth vocal style and captivating live performances helped propel the blues out of Delta juke joints and into urban clubs and upscale theaters. Until now, his story has never been told in a book-length biography.

Soul of the Man: Bobby "Blue" Bland relates how Bland, along with longtime friend B. B. King, and other members of the loosely knit group who called themselves the Beale Streeters, forged a new electrified blues style in Memphis in the early 1950s. Combining elements of Delta blues, southern gospel, big-band jazz, and country and western music, Bland and the Beale Streeters were at the heart of a revolution. This biography traces Bland's life and recording career, from his earliest work through his first big hit in 1957, "Farther Up the Road." It goes on to tell the story of how Bland scored hit after hit, placing more than sixty songs on the R&B charts throughout the 1960s, '70s, and '80s.

While more than two-thirds of his hits crossed over onto pop charts, Bland is surprisingly not widely known outside the African American community. Nevertheless, many of his recordings are standards, and he has created scores of hit albums such as his classic 1961 Two Steps from the Blues, widely considered one of the best blues albums of all time. Soul of the Man contains a select discography of the most significant recordings made by Bland, as well as a list of all his major awards. A four-time Grammy nominee, he received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the Blues Foundation, as well as the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's Pioneer Award. He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame. This biography at last heralds one of America's great music makers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604739190
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
Publication date: 02/01/2011
Series: American Made Music Series
Pages: 330
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: The Man 3

1 Memphis Monday Morning: 1945-1948 7

2 Loan Me a Helping Hand: 1949-1952 21

3 Little Boy Blue: 1930-1945 41

4 Army Blues: 1952-1954 49

5 Ain't It a Good Thing: 1955-1957 63

6 Dreamer: 1958-1960 79

7 Turn On Your Love Light: 1961-1962 97

8 Stormy Monday Blues: 1963-1964 117

9 Honky Tonk: 1965-1968 129

10 Touch of the Blues: 1969-1972 149

11 Lead Me On: 1973-1976 163

12 Gettin' Used to the Blues: 1977-1984 183

13 Members Only: 1985-1990 201

14 Walkin' & Talkin' & Singin' the Blues: 1991-1992 219

15 Years of Tears to Go: 1993-1999 229

16 Funny How Time Slips Away: 2000-2007 239

17 Farther Up the Road: 2008- 253

Epilogue 261

Awards 265

Selected Discography 267

Notes 270

Sources Cited 294

Interviews 305

Permission Acknowledgments 306

Index 307

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