Bobby Blue Bland : snort, gag or gasm?

Terry_ClubbupTerry_Clubbup 833 Posts
edited November 2006 in Strut Central
(I meant "gasp" ... or orgasm)I don't think it's a snort (sudden inhalation of air into sinuses),I think it's a clipped pocket of air forced out through the throat,so an exhalation made ragged through friction.Don't really matter if anybody on Soulstrut likes it or not, none ofus is a sweet, sweet-smelling middle-aged Black woman with sweaty cleavageand a purse full of big-head pocket cash.I like it though, I think "the snort" is endearing, and after I hear it Ialways try a couple in response.So, inhalation or exhalation?


  • I love me some Bobby Bland...esp. the early shit.

    I dont know if he is inhaling or exhaling...

    But dude does sound like he is about to spit a loogie(sp?)at times.

  • hcrinkhcrink 8,729 Posts
    I love me some Bobby Bland...esp. the early shit.

  • pointmanpointman 1,042 Posts
    Two Steps From the Blues LP on Duke
    Shoes 45 on Duke

    If you don't know either of these you really should.

  • Yeah, "Shoes" is hot.

    It takes a tough man to just sing the word "Shoes" and have the listener
    waiting for more.

    My favorite of the old schitt is "Little Boy Blue", it's just
    gasm after gasm, building and building.

    What we need though is pickwick33 to come speak on the more recent
    Purvis Spann-style snort'n'gag Bland.

    The allmusic review:

    "Review by Richie Unterberger
    In several important respects, Blues at Midnight is what an album by a major septuagenarian blues singer should be. The production is straight-ahead and dignified, and very much in Bland's time-honored tributary about halfway between blues and soul, with plenty of organ and some brass. The songs are a little on the generic side, but they're suitable, lightly melancholy vehicles for Bland's subdued persona. While Bobby's voice sounds thinner and more weathered than it did several decades previously, as could be expected from a 73-year-old, it's still in decent, expressive shape. Where this disc falls down is in the repeated insertions of Bland's trademark tic: a full-on snort, just as blatant as someone gauchely imitating a heavy snorer. That might seem like a small thing to pick on, but if this were anyone other than Bland, no one would have allowed any of those irritating snorts on the record, let alone dozens of them. It's an unfortunate blemish on what's otherwise a reasonably respectable session,[/b] which leans toward the side of the blues repertoire that's sadder, winding down toward after hours."

  • "Ive been wrong for so long" on the old-school purple and yellow duke label, from 1960 is

  • lol, that dude Richie used to shop at our store in the Richmond all the time. Nice dude but a total rockist

    I would rate Bland as one my all time favorite r&b singers...although I will admit I have not much of the post early 80's catalogue.

    Songs like "I Pity The Fool" are not only amazing, but absolutely timeless.

  • I'm So Tired on Duke from '72. Great vocals, killer horns.

  • My favorite of the old schitt is "Little Boy Blue", it's just
    gasm after gasm, building and building.

    A "gasm," huh?

    I've always called it a "soul vomit." Arkansas Red (Chicago blues DJ at WHPK-FM) calls it a "hawk." Bobby himself has called it a squall. Saw him at the Chicago Blues Festival in 1988 and the crowd roared with delight whenever he did it. It didn't used to sound so bad until part-way through the '90s, and that's when the shit got nasty.

    Apparently, when he first started making records but before he started having hits, he had this high falsetto scream that he'd cap off every other line with. Somehow or another he lost it, and came up with the squall to make up for it. According to Bland, it first appeared on "Little Boy Blue" in 1957. Judging by the Bland show I saw at the Arie Crown Theater earlier this year, he's all but given it up (thank God).

  • I am listening to everything I can find of the man. But I have to share this: I posed a snarky question about this "snort" and received a vehement and scathing response from his son. Bobby was inspired to incorporate this sound into his performance by Reverend L.C. Franklin, yes, the father of Aretha. It stems from Africa and is referred to as a "Love throat". When I recall movies like "The Gods Must Be Crazy", I get the deep connection this vocal gesture (Well, I maintain it's more nasal than vocal) is a deeply instilled heritage and therefore not a gimmick but a sincerely felt gesture.

  • RhythmGJRhythmGJ Buffalo, NY 202 Posts
    Every important "Blues n' B" singer of the era had a vocal gimmick or trademark tic that established their originality-- Bobby's growl/snort, Nappy Brown's "L-l-l-l-leh," Clarence "the human echo" Palmer's "Oy yoy yoy yoy" and "Ju-jee-wah" scatting, early Fats Domino's falsetto "Wah-wah-way-way," Little Richard's "Ah-WOOOOOO!!!" and so on.

    I think it suits his style, but does tend to be overused sometimes, IMHO. Nonetheless, you do always know it's Bobby!

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