RIP Robert Calvin “Bobby Blue” Bland

78_7247_2_Southern Folklife CollectionIt always saddens me that it takes the death of an artist to remind me to look for their work in the Southern Folklife Collection holdings, but then I find something like this excellent 78 from Bobby Blue Bland, call number 78-7247, and the bad feelings fade away. Bland passed on June 23, 2013 at his home outside Memphis, TN, but left behind a remarkable discography of some of the best R&B ever recorded. “Army Blues” features a beautifully woozy and cracked arrangement of “Taps” and Bland’s raw vocals offer a moving critique of the dismay that he and many others felt about the draft in 1952.

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“No Blow, No Show” picks things up and the tape echo sound awesome to our ears. Take a listen and have a great weekend. 

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78_7247_Southern Folklife Collection