Personnel includes: Bobby "Blue" Bland (vocals); Wayne Bennett (guitar); Johnny Board, Jimmy Beck (alto & tenor saxophones); Bobby Forte (tenor saxophone); Rayfield Devers (baritone saxophone); Joe Scott, Melvin Jackson (trumpet); Pluma Davis (trombone); Skippy Brooks, Johnny Young (piano); Hamp Simmons, Phil Upchurch (bass); John "Jabo" Starks, Harrell Porter (drums).
Recorded between 1961 & 1966. Includes liner notes by Chris Morris.
Digitally remastered by Erick Labson (MCA Media Studios, North Hollywood, California).
Personnel: Bobby "Blue" Bland (vocals); Gerald Sims, Wayne Bennett (guitar); Jimmy Beck, Johnny Board (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); L.A. Hill, Bill Harvey, Bobby Forte (tenor saxophone); Joe Scott (trumpet); Pluma Davis (trombone); Skippy Brooks, Johnny Young (piano); Teddy Reynolds (organ); John Starks, Sonny Freeman (drums).
Liner Note Author: Chris Morris.
Recording information: Chicago, IL (??/??/1957-02/28/1969); Detroit, MI (??/??/1957-02/28/1969); Houston, TX (??/??/1957-02/28/1969); Los Angeles, CA (??/??/1957-02/28/1969); Nashville, TN (??/??/1957-02/28/1969).
Photographer: Ray Flerlage.
Arranger: Jay Wellington.
Though distilling Bobby Bland's staggering 29-year run at Duke records into one disc would be an impossible task, GREATEST HITS, VOULME 1 serves as a quick introduction for the uninitiated. What one takes away from listening to this collection is just how much Bland's style of blues differed from that of peers like B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, and others. Although Bland is a Memphis native with gospel roots, his recordings are not the macho guitar boogie stompers or swampy Delta voodoo numbers so often associated with the blues.
The album contains a list of classics from the heyday of the blues: "Farther up the Road," "I Pity the Fool," and "Stormy Monday Blues" to name a few. Bland's classic ballad "Cry, Cry, Cry" is the first track on which listeners hear the famous Bland squall, a strangled cry of passion that was just as much physical as it was emotional. He raises his voice to pumping highs on the ripping "Turn on your Lovelight" and tones it down to something disarmingly gentle on the lovely "Call on Me." Although his name may not be as easily recognizable as his more celebrated peers, Bobby Bland is just as deserving of their icon status.