Wax Poetics Presents: The Bobby “Blue” Bland Playlist
by Wax Poetics
Bobby “Blue” Bland, soul and blues pioneer, died at age eighty-three on Sunday, June 23, 2013, in his home outside of Memphis, Tennessee. Born in 1930 just north of the city, Bland came up with other blues musicians on Beale Street, joining a collective known as the Beale Streeters who included B. B. King, who stayed good friends with Bland as both artists skyrocketed to fame.
Bland is perhaps best known by later generations for his 1974 song off of Dreamer (Dunhill), “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City,” which was sampled by producer Kanye West for Jay-Z’s track “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)” on 2001’s The Blueprint.
Bland helped modernize the blues by bringing in current trends of soul, funk, and gospel, subsequently influencing countless R&B artists along the way.
His discography is extensive, recording countless singles for the Duke label in the 1950s and ’60s, and then moving on to ABC/Dunhill in the ’70s.
Our Spotify playlist shares some of our favorite tracks, focusing on his later Duke releases and a few of his ’70s albums, including the well-known Dreamer.
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