Blues Legends Belt It Out for 2-Day Festival
About 16,000 blues fans, sometimes stomping, sometimes swaying to the riffs that floated across the cool afternoon breeze, gathered last weekend to hear some of their favorite players at the ninth annual Long Beach Blues Festival.
The benefit concert included such blues legends as Albert King, Ruth Brown, Albert Collins, James Cotton and Bobby (Blue) Bland, pictured at right putting some emotion into one of his songs. Bland is the innovator of a vocal style he calls “blues ballads.”
The festival, held on the Cal State Long Beach north athletic field, was sponsored by listener-supported radio station KLON-FM 88. The yearly festival, which began in July, 1980, became a two-day event in 1984. It is considered the largest yearly blues festival west of the Mississippi River. Proceeds from the festival go toward supporting the radio station, which is located on the Cal State Long Beach campus.