Joe Bihari: His Modern Records Label Helped Give Us the Blues

In the 1950s, Joe Bihari scoured African American bars and nightclubs in the South for undiscovered blues phenoms. Bihari, who passed away on Nov. 28 at age 88, tried to elevate those he found to stardom at Modern Records, the Los Angeles-based label that he cofounded with his brothers, Jules and Saul. Bihari traveled the South behind the wheel of a red 1952 Lincoln convertible. One southern lawman trying to dissuade Bihari from trying to make records with black performers, …

Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland: 5 Facts About ‘Little Boy Blue’

If I had a million dollars I’d give you every, a-every dime Just to hear you call me, “Bobby,” one more time. That’s what Bobby “Blue” Bland sang in his trademark 1958 single, “Little Boy Blue,” which unveiled his trademark vocal style: a restrained, silky-smooth crooner’s delivery, punctuated at the right moment by a high-pitched, pleading squall. It fused the earthy raw power of rural blues singers such as Robert Johnson with the jazz-inflected urbanity of Nat King Cole. And …

Bernard Lansky: 5 Fascinating Facts About Elvis’ Clothier

Fans of Elvis Presley – and we’re thinking of the young, dashing Elvis of the mid-1950s – couldn’t help but notice how utterly cool his clothes were. For a young working-class hero from the South, the King was impeccably tailored, and rakishly so, in pink and black shirts, pegged pants and iridescent sharkskin jackets, and two-tone shoes. That’s because Presley got his threads from a hepcat who really knew 1950s male fashion: Bernard Lansky, the proprietor of Lansky Bros. on …