Back in the sixties when Bobby “Blue” Bland was in his prime in Houston, he came to be known as the “Sepia Sinatra,” but John Nova Lomax always thought Sinatra should have been known as the “Bronze Bobby Bland.”
Though it was over thirty years ago, Lomax can still recall it as if it were yesterday: the first time his dad dropped a needle on a Bobby “Blue” Bland LP. A respected storyteller of blues and soul music, Bland died in 2013 and would have been 85 years old this year. In honor of his birthday, we’re transported back to a late summer evening in Nashville, where Lomax first heard Bland’s soulful voice.
John Nova Lomax is a Senior Editor for Texas Monthly Magazine. And – yes – he is related to those Lomax’s: the notable family of folklorists and ethnomusicologists. Read his Texas Monthly article here.
This story was prepared with assistance by Jan Ross Piedad.