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The Very Best Of Billy Bland

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Featured here are 29 songs recorded by Bland for Old Town between 1955 and 1963, with five tracks that were unissued at the time, including an alternate (but similar) take of "Let the Little Girl Dance." Bland and Old Town tried a variety of strategies evident over the course of the disc. There are more sub-Jackie Wilson imitations with the "Lonely Teardrops" rhythm ("You Were Born to Be Loved"). There are also fair Bo Diddley-derived tunes ("Chicken in the Basket" is not just a derivation, but an imitation); down-home electric blues with Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee as accompanists ("Chicken Hop"); up-tempo urban jump blues-R&B ("Grandma Gave a Party," "The Fat Man"); doo wop; faux New Orleans sounds ("Momma Stole the Chicken"); and sub-twist, early-'60s dance-craze rock ("Do the Bug with Me"). It's almost an unwitting primer of black music in the '50s and early '60s as it turned into R&B, rock, and soul. The material, however, is on the by-the-numbers side, and Bland is a likable but undistinguished singer. Some points of interest are "Uncle Bud," (like "Chicken Hop") which features just-out-of-the-country electric blues that probably has Sonny Terry on guitar (the composer credit is "S. Terry"); the little-known and unmemorable Gene Pitney tune "Harmony," and "I Spend My Life Loving You," which was co-written by Bland and J. Mack, though sounds like it could be mistaken for a Gene Pitney composition.


Nacido(a): 05 de abril de 1932 en Wilmington, NC

Género: Pop tradicional

Años de actividad: '50s, '60s

Billy Bland had a one-shot hit in 1960 with "Let the Little Girl Dance" (number seven), a pop-R&B- early soul mixture very much in the same mold as records from the period by Jackie Wilson, right down to the Latinate "Lonely Teardrops" rhythm. Some of his other singles were in the same style, but Bland (not to be confused with the unrelated Bobby Bland) was actually a pretty versatile vocalist, also purveying R&B, Bo Diddley-styled rock & roll, urban blues, and dance-craze early-'60s...
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