1964 Bobby Bland – There Ain’t Nothing You Can Do
Robert Calvin Brooks grew up in a small town in Tennessee. His father left the family when Robert was quite young, and Robert began using his stepfather’s last name instead, and he became known as Bobby Bland.
Bobby’s mother moved the family to Memphis, and he began singing with gospel groups. He also hung out with members of the Beale Streeters, other wannabe musicians. That group included future stars B.B. King, Rosco Gordon, Junior Parker and Johnny Ace.
Ike Turner had Bobby record a song in 1951, but it was never released.
After a hitch in the army, Bobby returned to Memphis and signed with producer Don Robey and Duke Records. Bobby began recording singles for the label in 1955. After a few unsuccessful singles, Don produced Bobby singing Farther Up The Road, a song co-written by Johnny Copeland and Joe Medwick Veasey. Don bought Johnny’s rights to the song and added his own name as co-writer.
The blues single topped the R&B chart in 1957 and peaked at #43 on the Hot 100.
Fifteen more singles reached the R&B top forty over the next five years; eleven of the records reached the R&B top ten. While most of the records also reached the Hot 100, the best he managed on that chart came when the single Turn On Your Love Light reached #28.
Bobby’s most successful single on the pop chart came in 1964. He recorded Ain’t Nothing You Can Do, and the record peaked at #20 on the Hot 100.
While he never reached the top forty on the Hot 100 again, Bobby continued to place hits on the R&B chart through the seventies. He had more than a dozen additional top ten R&B hits from 1965 through 1974. The record of his singles identifies him as one of the all-time top performers on the R&B chart.
Bobby was 83 years-old when he died in 2013.
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