Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bobby Blue Bland - Fond Memories

I was saddened to learn today of the death of Bobby Blue Bland who died two days ago at the age of 83.   For many years I've loved rhythm and blues bands which featured a (male generally) vocalist with at least several horn players playing their band arrangements backing up the featured performer.   Though I never saw Bland in his prime when his band played primarily to predominately Black audiences in a generally segregated era, it was always wonderful to hear him appreciated in the various venues I saw him play at.  

In 2011 he played a wonderful show I was lucky to be able to attend at the New Orleans Heritage Jazz Festival.   (When I'd last seen him before then, his voice had seemed to be going, and it was great to hear him sing powerfully there.)

(I think also in 2011) I greatly enjoyed going with my son and his partner to the site of the former South Shore Country Club (now a city owned outdoor space) in Chicago to see him perform for a small, but spirited audience (mostly Black) outdoors.   It felt especially good to see the two of them comfortable in that setting hearing music that meant so much to me.

Thankfully the music will live on!   Thanks for the memories!

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