WELCOME AWARD WINNING WRITER ERIC WATTREE TO HIPSTER SANCTUARY


posted by blues2jazzguy    #hipster

Eric Wattree

Eric L. Wattree is a writer, poet, and musician, born in Los Angeles. He’s a columnist for The Los Angeles Sentinel, Black Star News, The Atlanta Post, and a member of the Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists (http://www.spj.org/). He’s also the author of “A Message From the Hood.”

Some of the greatest minds I’ve ever known held court while sitting on empty milk crates in the parking lots of ghetto liquor stores, while some of the weakest minds I’ve ever known roamed the halls of academia in pursuit of credentials over knowledge.

Eric L. Wattree
http://www.whohub.com/wattree

MEMBERS ONLY:R&B Soul Singer Bobby Blue Bland Laid To Rest


Boby Bland   tint BlueLion Of The Blues: Celebrated And Laid To Rest  posted by Robert J. Carmack

MEMPHIS – Funeral services for soul-blues singer Bobby “Blue” Bland were held Thursday, June 27, at First Baptist Church in Memphis ,Tenn. Family, friends, colleagues and dignitaries from near and far gathered at First Baptist Church in Memphis to deliver Bland’s praises, listen to his tunes, and mark the passing of a Memphis music giant. The 2 1/2-hour memorial proved a stirring celebration of the life of the veteran R&B singer, who died Sunday June 23, age 83 at his home in Germantown, Tenn. #MEMBERS ONLY

The Bland family decided to allow the public to “share in the celebration” of the singer’s life by streaming the services live. It was not one, but a multitude of Bobby “Blue” Blands’ who were hailed and mourned during the  funeral services at First Baptist on Thursday.To some, he was the “pearl of the blues world”; others, a singer whose artistry was not limited by any single genre or form, but always a man with an abundance of charisma. Bland was remembered as a devoted husband, father and grandfather, but most of all a good friend;to those whom he knew and loved him.

The Blues singer’s casket was flanked by a bevy of colorful wreaths, family members, including  wife, Willie Mae, at the front. A procession of speakers came to the church’s pulpit to tell the story of his life and legacy.Spearheaded by the Rev. Jesse Jackson , as he spoke about his long relationship with the singer, which began five decades ago in South Carolina. Bobby--Blue--Bland-jpg formal NowHe and his wife were just newlyweds when they went to see Blue Bland perform. “For more than 50 years he’s remained relevant..Bobby was a singer, but no one adjective is enough,” said Jackson. “Validated by his fans and peers, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, the Allman Brothers and Elvis Presley, all of them looked up to Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland.”

“Today, death has been robbed,” continued Jackson. “It has taken his frail body, but has not taken the crown prince of melodic music. You belong to us forever, Bobby.”

Former Stax Records executive/producer, Al Bell talked in detail about Bland’s musical contributions, charting his career from his earliest Duke sessions to his ’70s work on ABC, to his later efforts for Mississippi’s Malaco Records. Bell noted that though all the years, changes and albums, the singular spirit in Bland always shined through. “I love the spirit that lived in Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland. And the spirit that lived in that body influenced us through its music, its thoughts, its contemplations and considerations for 83 years,” said Bell. “What a blessing!”

“Even though Bobby Bland is gone, you still can experience that spirit by just listening to his recorded music. You will experience the spirit, the care and love, the power and the glory.”  In attendence at the services were, local politicos who also paid their respects, with former Congressman Harold Ford Sr. and Shelby County Mayor, Mark Luttrell among those paying homage.

Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton also evoked one of Bland’s signature tunes while reflecting on his passing. “Bobby’s soul had to move,” said Herenton. “You know, Bobby left us with a song: ‘Further on Up the Road.’ Well, just a few days ago, Bobby moved a little further on up the road.”

Fellow musicians, including Stax songwriter David Porter, also shared personal insights. Porter told how he and his partner Isaac Hayes included a winking tribute in their classic 1967 hit “Soul Man”, by having Sam & Dave singer Sam Moore do a couple of Bland’s signature vocal “squalls” on the track.

Blues Foundation president Jay Sieleman reflected on Bland’s enduring musical impact, recalling how just this spring the singer was given the state of Tennessee’s highest cultural honor, the Distinguished Artist Award. While the recognition is typically reserved for those in the “fine arts” category, Sieleman noted that Bland represented the finest in any art form, praising him for his “exceptional talent and creativity.”

The eulogy, delivered by pastor Keith Norman, closed a program filled with music, including recordings of Bland’s own work, as well as rousing performances by gospel vocalist Deborah Manning-Thomas, Stax star Shirley Brown and Chicago soul singer and Hi Records artist Otis Clay.

The most halting moment of the ceremony, however, came near the end, as Bland’s fellow music legend and lifelong pal, guitarist B.B. King, rose from the pews to briefly address the audience. “If it’s possible that I see him again, I’ll have some (wise) cracks for him, which we always had whenever we met up,” said King. “Bobby, I miss you, old boy,” he added, looking toward Bland’s casket. “He was my friend.”

Robert  Bobby “Blue” Bland was buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memephis Tenn.

They Call Me Bobby: Sinatra of the Blues Succumbs at 83


Boby Bland   tint Blue

Los Angeles,CA._ Blues great Robert Calvin Bland, better known a Bobby “Blue” Bland, a distinguished singer who blended Southern Blues and Raw Soul while recording  big hits such as, “Turn on Your Love Light” and “Further On Up the Road,” and  “Stormy Monday” died June 23, he was 83.  Rod Bland said his father died about 5:30 p.m. Sunday due to complications from an ongoing illness at his Memphis, Tenn., home surrounded by relatives.

Bland was known in some circles as the “Lion of the Blues” and heavily influenced by Nat King Cole, often recording with lavish arrangements to accompany his smooth vocals. He even openly imitated Frank Sinatra on the “Two Steps From the Blues” album cover, standing in front of a building with a coat thrown over his shoulder. This brought about a second moniker of  “The Sinatra of the Blues.”   “He brought a certain level of class to the blues genre,” said Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, son of legendary musician and producer Willie Mitchell.

Born in Rosemark, Tenn., he moved to nearby Memphis as a teenager and, as the Hall Of Fame noted, was “second in stature only to B.B. King as a product of Memphis’ Beale Street blues scene.”Bland was a contemporary of B.B. King’s, serving as the blues great’s valet and chauffeur at one point  early in his young career.

After a stint in the Army, he recorded with Sam Phillips at Sun Records in the early 1950s with little to show for it. It wasn’t until later that decade Bland began to find success. He scored his first No. 1 on the R&B charts with “Further On Up the Road” in 1957. Then, beginning with “I’ll Take Care of You” in early 1960, Bland released a dozen R&B hits in a row. That string included “Turn On Your Love Light” in 1961. His “I Pity the Fool” in 1961 was recorded by many rock bands, including David Bowie and Eric Clapton, who has made “Further On Up the Road” part of his repertoire.

Being one of the last of the living connections to the roots of the genre,Blues.

Bland was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

“He’s always been the type of guy that if he could help you in any way, form or fashion, he would,” MusicObitBobbyRodd Bland said.

In the world of Soul,Blues and R&B, young singers can stand on the shoulders of true  pioneers, like Bland, who truly paved the way while doing all the heavy lifting. Bobby Blue Bland will be sorely missed with very few left to fill the void left in his absence.

Robert J. Carmack – Editor-in-Chief ** you can follow this writer on twitter:@blues2jazzguy