The blues and soul singer, known for songs such as “Further on Up the Road” and “Turn on Your Love Light,” was known as one of the living connections to the roots of blues. Bland co-founded the Beale Streeters, which included musicians such as B.B. King and Johnny Ace. In 1957, he recorded “Further on Up the Road,” which scored the Number One spot on the R&B charts. He also produced a series of hits in the 1960s, including “I’ll Take Care of You” and “Turn Your Love Light On.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
“He brought a certain level of class to the blues genre,” said Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, son of musician/producer Willie Mitchell.
“He’s always been the type of guy that if he could help you in any way, form or fashion, he would,” said his son, Rodd Bland.