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Bobby "Blue" Bland to Receive Distinguished Achievement Award
For release: Nov. 3, 2005
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Bobby "Blue" Bland will be recognized as the 2005 recipient of the Distinguished Achievement in the Creative and Performing Arts Award, given by the College of Communication and Fine Arts at the University of Memphis. The annual award will be presented in a November 22 jazz concert at the University. It is given in memory of Elvis Presley to a living Mid-south artist whose work has resulted in national and international recognition and influence. The honor has been awarded to 27 Mid-South legends since 1979, including Isaac Hayes, Dixie Carter, Rufus Thomas, Chet Atkins, Carroll Cloar, B.B. King and Al Green. Last year's recipient was Booker T. Jones, of Booker T. and the MGs.

Bland, recognized as one of the great blues vocalists of all time, was a founding member of the Beale Streeters in the 1950s with B.B. King and Johnny Ace. He began a lifelong relationship with Duke Records when the group recorded "Lovin Blues" in 1952. After a stint in the Army, he began recording with Houston entrepreneur Don Robey who had recently purchased Duke Records. With Robey and the backing of Bill Harvey's Orchestra, he created what is considered his signature style and had his first national hit in 1957's "Farther Up the Road." In the 70s, he released the California and Dreamer albums and also reunited with B.B. King. He has recorded for Jackson, MS based Malaco Records since the mid 1980s.

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