B.B. King, Rev. Jesse Jackson pay tribute to Blues legend Bobby - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

B.B. King, Rev. Jesse Jackson pay tribute to Blues legend Bobby 'Blue' Bland

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Hundreds of family, friends, and fans filled First Baptist Broad Thursday morning to reflect on the life of blues legend Bobby "Blue" Bland. Hundreds of family, friends, and fans filled First Baptist Broad Thursday morning to reflect on the life of blues legend Bobby "Blue" Bland.
Known as the Sinatra of the Blues, Bland died Sunday at age 83. Known as the Sinatra of the Blues, Bland died Sunday at age 83.
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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Many say his voice was as smooth as butter. Hundreds of family, friends, and fans filled First Baptist Broad Thursday morning to reflect on the life of blues legend Bobby "Blue" Bland.

"Bobby, everybody knew he was a Blues singer, but he was. I say that because I hear Bobby Blue, Bobby Blue," said friend and music legend, B.B. King.

Former Memphis Mayor Doctor Willie Herenton said Bland was one of the greatest musicians of all time.

"Bobby was talented, smooth, charismatic, class, the best," said Dr. Herenton.

Known as the Sinatra of the Blues, Bland died Sunday at age 83.

Born in Rosemark, he quickly made his way to Memphis and Beale Street.

There, he earned the respect of many simply because of his talents and his personable attitude.

"Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, the Allman Brothers, Elvis Presley looked up to Bobby Blue Bland. He was simply the best at honing his skills," said friend Rev. Jesse Jackson.

David Porter, who also spoke at Bland's funeral, says he and fellow Memphian Issac Hayes paid tribute to Bland in the Stax hit " Soul Man ".

"In the chorus, Sam and Dave are singing soul man. I said look, let's put a Bobby Blue Bland squall in the song," continues friend David Porter.

Longtime friend B.B. King says Bland was often imitated but could never be duplicated.

"Anybody who ever tried to sing the Blues, I think would say thank you Bobby, because I did," King added.

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