Bobby Bland, the blues and soul singer nicknamed ‘Blue’, has died aged 83 it has been confirmed.
Bland, famous for his songs including ‘Turn On Your Love Light’ and ‘Further On Up The Road’, died on Sunday at home in Memphis, Tennessee after complications from an ongoing illness, his son Rodd revealed. Born in Tennessee in 1930, Bland worked as BB King’s chauffeur after moving to Memphis as a teenager, before going on to work with him as a member of the Beale Streeters.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, Bland was nicknamed “the Sinatra of the blues” and described by the Hall as “second in stature only to BB King as a product of Memphis’s Beale Street blues scene”.”He’s always been the type of guy that if he could help you in any way, form or fashion, he would,” Rodd Bland said when confirming the death of his father.
In 1961 Bland recorded ‘I Pity The Fool’, a song later recorded by The Manish Boys, featuring a young David Bowie. Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page recorded the guitar solo on Manish Boys’ version of the hit single. Jay-Z used a sample of Bland’s ‘Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City’ on his 2001 album ‘The Blueprint’.