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Bobby 'Blue' Bland Duke Years 1952-62

Duke Years 1952-62
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Bobby 'Blue' Bland: Duke Years 1952-62

(2014/Not Now) 146:37/56, 3-CD

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Bland, Bobby 'Blue' - Duke Years 1952-62 CD 1
01 FARTHER UP THE ROAD
02 STORMY MONDAY BLUES
03 LITTLE BOY BLUE
04 LEAD ME ON
05 WHO WILL THE NEXT FOOL BE?
06 CALL ON ME
07 IOU BLUES
08 IT'S MY LIFE, BABY
09 YOU'VE GOT A BAD INTENTIONS
10 WOKE UP SCREAMING
11 BOBBY'S BLUES
12 YOU'RE THE ONE (THAT I ADORE)
13 HOLD ME TENDERLY
14 TWO STEPS FROM THE BLUES
15 HOW DOES A CHEATING WOMEN FEEL
16 CLOSE TO YOU
17 DON'T WANT NO WOMAN
18 YOU DID ME WRONG
19 TEACH ME (HOW TO LOVE YOU)
20 LAST NIGHT
Bland, Bobby 'Blue' - Duke Years 1952-62 CD 2
01 AIN'T THAT LOVING YOU
02 YIELD NOT TO TEMPTATION
03 CRY, CRY, CRY
04 I'LL TAKE CARE OF YOU
05 LOVIN' BLUES
06 TIME OUT
07 BLUE MOON
08 I'VE BEEN WRONG SO LONG
09 I LEARNED MY LESSON
10 I DON'T BELIEVE
11 I SMELL TROUBLE
12 YOU GOT ME (WHERE YOU WANT ME)
13 I LOST SIGHT ON THE WORLD
14 WISHING WELL
15 IS IT REAL
16 YOUR FRIENDS
17 I'VE JUST GOT TO FORGET YOU
18 THAT'S WHY
Bland, Bobby 'Blue' - Duke Years 1952-62 CD 3
01 TURN ON YOUR LOVE LIGHT
02 I PITY THE FOOL
03 I'M NOT ASHAMED
04 DON'T CRY NO MORE
05 ST JAMES INFIRMARY
06 THAT'S THE WAY LOVE IS
07 SOMEDAY
08 NO BLOW, NO SHOW
09 ARMY BLUES
10 YOU OR NONE
11 I CAN'T PUT YOU DOWN BABY
12 BLUES IN THE NIGHT
13 JELLY, JELLY, JELLY
14 LOAN A HELPING HAND
15 TWISTIN' UP THE ROAD
16 36-22-36
17 YOU'RE WORTH IT ALL
18 SOMETIME TOMORROW
Bobby Blue Bland Along about 1959, the Duke Records braintrust astutely recognized that Bobby... more
"Bobby 'Blue' Bland"

Bobby Blue Bland

Along about 1959, the Duke Records braintrust astutely recognized that Bobby 'Blue' Bland had serious potential to cross over into the pop realm and make a much bigger splash than he already had in the blues and R&B arenas. The Rosemark, Tennessee native's melismatically enriched vocal style always got him over very well with the ladies, despite his not being a particularly agile presence onstage. Thanks to his wonderfully warm pipes, he didn't need to be 

It had taken Bland awhile to break through to the big time. He'd been recording for Duke since 1952, when it was still located in Memphis and before Houston entrepreneur Don Robey took the imprint over. Bland's impassioned wails and Duke's scorching house band had combined to cut some spectacular swinging blues sides, but Bobby didn't crack the R&B charts until 1957 with Farther Up The Road (see Disc Five).  Bland's artistic focus was steadily evolving, thanks to Duke in-house trumpeter/arranger/A&R man Joe Scott, who served as his mentor.

"He was just a gift from God, Joe Scott, because he taught me and everybody that was around the Duke label," says Bobby. "Joe Scott picked some good stories for me to tell, because he saw that I was a good storyteller if I had the lyrics. Not the long, drawn-out lyrics. Just make 'em short and to the point and leave some opening for ad-libbing, whatever your idea would be. 

Bobby's high-flying vocal range deepened when he underwent a tonsillectomy. "I wasn't able to hit a falsetto type like I had been singing in earlier years, after the operation with the tonsils. So it kind of lowered my voice," says Bland, who adopted a favorite vocal move of a famous singing preacher as his new trademark. "I was listening to 'The Eagle Stirreth Her Nest' by the Rev. C.L. Franklin, and I heard the squall in there. So I worked on it for about four or five days and developed it. It gave me a different Bobby Bland." He utilized that squall unforgettably on his spine-chilling 1958 hit Little Boy Blue.

When Bobby crooned Brook Benton's sedate ballad I'll Take Care Of You and blasted up to #2 on the R&B hit parade in early '60, it appeared he was leaving the blues behind. But Bland happily reverted to his roots on I Pity The Fool, a loping mid-tempo blues punctuated by Wayne Bennett's stinging guitar and a six-piece horn section led by Scott (Bobby's rhythm section consisted of pianist Teddy Reynolds, bassist Hamp Simmons and drummer John 'Jabo' Starks). The song was waxed on November 12, 1960 in Chicago, while Bland's contingent was on tour. Originally credited to Robey under his Deadric Malone sobriquet but probably written by Houston singer Joe Medwick Veasey, who also co-penned Farther Up The Road (Robey was in the habit of buying songs outright), I Pity The Fool catapulted to the top of the R&B charts and made a solid #46 pop showing.

"Joe Medwick, he did some hell of a writing when he did all those tunes," says former Duke house guitarist Texas Johnny Brown.

"Joe (Scott) found that, really," says Bobby. "It was a good change. I always had some good writers after I got my first record out there, and writers started pinpointing on what would be good for Bobby Bland: 'I'm going to write this particular tune.' It was a big thing for me."

Bland was by now a leading luminary on the R&B circuit with major pop appeal and would remain so on Duke into 1972. His non-stop litany of smashes included the gospel-fueled Turn On Your Love Light (1961) and Yield Not To Temptation (1962) as well as a lights-out '62 revival of T-Bone Walker's Stormy Monday Blues and the pop-oriented double-sided 1963 smash That's The Way Love Is b/w Call On Me

Bill Dahl
Chicago, Illinois 

PLUG IT IN! TURN IT UP!
Electric Blues 1939–2005 – The Definitive Collection!
Volume 3: 1960–1969

Bobby Blue Bland on Wikipedia

 

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Tracklist
Bland, Bobby 'Blue' - Duke Years 1952-62 CD 1
01 FARTHER UP THE ROAD
02 STORMY MONDAY BLUES
03 LITTLE BOY BLUE
04 LEAD ME ON
05 WHO WILL THE NEXT FOOL BE?
06 CALL ON ME
07 IOU BLUES
08 IT'S MY LIFE, BABY
09 YOU'VE GOT A BAD INTENTIONS
10 WOKE UP SCREAMING
11 BOBBY'S BLUES
12 YOU'RE THE ONE (THAT I ADORE)
13 HOLD ME TENDERLY
14 TWO STEPS FROM THE BLUES
15 HOW DOES A CHEATING WOMEN FEEL
16 CLOSE TO YOU
17 DON'T WANT NO WOMAN
18 YOU DID ME WRONG
19 TEACH ME (HOW TO LOVE YOU)
20 LAST NIGHT
Bland, Bobby 'Blue' - Duke Years 1952-62 CD 2
01 AIN'T THAT LOVING YOU
02 YIELD NOT TO TEMPTATION
03 CRY, CRY, CRY
04 I'LL TAKE CARE OF YOU
05 LOVIN' BLUES
06 TIME OUT
07 BLUE MOON
08 I'VE BEEN WRONG SO LONG
09 I LEARNED MY LESSON
10 I DON'T BELIEVE
11 I SMELL TROUBLE
12 YOU GOT ME (WHERE YOU WANT ME)
13 I LOST SIGHT ON THE WORLD
14 WISHING WELL
15 IS IT REAL
16 YOUR FRIENDS
17 I'VE JUST GOT TO FORGET YOU
18 THAT'S WHY
Bland, Bobby 'Blue' - Duke Years 1952-62 CD 3
01 TURN ON YOUR LOVE LIGHT
02 I PITY THE FOOL
03 I'M NOT ASHAMED
04 DON'T CRY NO MORE
05 ST JAMES INFIRMARY
06 THAT'S THE WAY LOVE IS
07 SOMEDAY
08 NO BLOW, NO SHOW
09 ARMY BLUES
10 YOU OR NONE
11 I CAN'T PUT YOU DOWN BABY
12 BLUES IN THE NIGHT
13 JELLY, JELLY, JELLY
14 LOAN A HELPING HAND
15 TWISTIN' UP THE ROAD
16 36-22-36
17 YOU'RE WORTH IT ALL
18 SOMETIME TOMORROW