From The Archives: Bobby 'Blue' Bland On Mountain Stage The revered blues singer, one of the genre's true game-changers, died June 23 at age 83. Hear Bland perform a medley of his hits during an appearance on Mountain Stage in May 2003.

Bobby "Blue" Bland and Larry Groce during the blues singer's appearance on Mountain Stage in 2003. Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption
Mountain Stage

Bobby "Blue" Bland and Larry Groce during the blues singer's appearance on Mountain Stage in 2003.

Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Bobby 'Blue' Bland On Mountain Stage

Bobby 'Blue' Bland On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/195301377/195297756" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

On May 18, 2003, Bobby "Blue" Bland appeared on Mountain Stage in Huntington, W.Va. Daniel Lanois, Tracy Nelson and singer-songwriter Will Hoge were on the bill that night, as well. When news of Bland's passing broke, Hoge was one of many who took to social media to pay tribute. He was also kind enough to share a few more words with us about the impact Bland had on his career.

"Sharing the stage and singing with Bobby 'Blue' Bland was a highlight of my life," Hoge says. "He was my living link to the generation of blues music and musicians that changed my life. It's said that great singers interpret songs — I'd say Bobby inhabited the songs. Truth be told, to me, Bobby did even more than that. The songs were in him. They were a part of him that he had to get out. You felt every emotion. You believed what he was singing and why he was singing it. He was truly one of the greats. One of the masters. Godspeed, Bobby 'Blue' Bland — see you 'Farther on up the Road.'"

[+] read more[-] less

More From Blues

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Robert Cray On Mountain Stage

On his fourth visit to Mountain Stage, the Grammy-winning blues artist performs songs from throughout his four-decade career.

Robert Cray On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/559812351/559817683" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Courtesy of the artist.

Holly Hofmann On Piano Jazz

Hear the classically trained flutist bring her bluesy style to this 2002 episode, featuring a performance with Marian McPartland.

Holly Hofmann On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/556075820/556075849" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Sherman Holmes on Mountain Stage Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Sherman Holmes On Mountain Stage

Hear the revered blues musician play songs from his solo debut on the 900th episode of Mountain Stage.

Sherman Holmes On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/553694060/553700931" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

ALA.NI performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 20, 2017. (Photo: Liam James Doyle/NPR) Liam James Doyle/NPR/NRR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR/NRR

ALA.NI

ALA.NI captures and conveys a reverent love of early-20th-century music, while injecting those sounds with charisma and charm well suited for any era.

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Ruthie Foster On Mountain Stage

The Grammy-nominated blues and gospel singer returns to Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va.

Ruthie Foster On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/522762174/522768305" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Lucinda Williams performs at Lincoln Center Out Of Doors. Ebru Yildiz for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Lucinda Williams, Live In Concert

Watch the legendary singer-songwriter perform a three-song set at Damrosch Park in New York City.

Back To Top