Bobby “Blue” Bland Goes Farther On Up The Road

Bobby “Blue” Bland died yesterday at 83, and the ranks of the legendary blues singers were thinned measurably as a result.

Over his long career he wrote some of the great R&B songs, including timeless efforts like Further On Up The Road and Turn On Your Love Light.  I was introduced to his music by Eric Clapton, who played an exceptional Further On Up The Road filled with awesome guitar work.  When I heard Clapton’s live introduction to the song — simply, “this is a song by Bobby Blue Bland called Further On Up The Road” — I knew I had to listen to the artist who wrote such a fantastic song.  My guess is that many rock ‘n roll fans who loved Clapton, Led Zeppelin, and other rockers who played the blues were introduced to Bobby “Blue” Bland and other blues artists in that same way.

Bland had a fabulous voice, deep and smoky and soulful.  And, as the YouTube clip I’ve included above shows, he must have been a blast to share the stage with.  The clip is part of a performance by Bobby “Blue” Bland and B.B. King on Soul Train, circa the mid-70s.  From the basso intro by Don Cornelius to the vintage ’70s clothing to the stunning music, the clip is a classic — and a great reminder of Bland’s outsized talent.

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Its Souuuuuuuuul Train

With the passing of Don Cornelius yesterday I’m sure everyone was reminded of the show he hosted. Soul Train first aired in October 1971 and ran through March 2006 featuring mostly R& B and Hip Hop music. It still ranks as the longest running syndicated program in television history.

Who can forget the scramble board with the letters of a music artists name you should know and the highlight of the show the Soul Train Line Dance. Don only participated in the line dance one time during the entire running of the show (shown below).

Today at work us old folks were talking about our skin tight bell bottom jeans, silk shirts, platform shoes and bright colored outfits. The seventies and eighties were a fun time to be young with not a care in the world.

At the end of each show it would be – Bet your last money it’s gonna be a stone gas honey ! I’m Don Cornelius and as always in parting we wish you love, peace and soul.