He and his sisters and brothers got together at a very young age and formed a Gospel group called "Terry & The Kelly Singers" and were performing together for many years. But his ear and interest for playing the blues became more inevitable. Kelly played his first blues performance at the age of ten at a Chicago city school and there he was noticed by west side singer Mary Lane, who saw a promising talent in the boy’s playing. When he turned fifteen, Mary asked him to sit in on one of her performances on the west side of Chicago. Vance counts Mary Lane among his important teachers, as well as Chicago’s Buddy Scott and Johnny Christian.
His influences include B.B. King, Albert Collins and Howling Wolf. In 1981 to 1985 Vance formed his first band called the “Treacherous Wind” in which they performed for small clubs on the west side of Chicago. It was the late sax man A.C. Reed however, who saw Vance perform on one of those nights and saw a talent that was so extraordinary that on the same night he asked Vance to join his band. From 1985 to 1990 Vance played with A.C.
Reed who exposed him to five years on the blues. A.C. Reed taugth him to play for and introduced him to a much larger audience which Vance would face one day on his own. In the late 90’s Vance departed from A.C.
Reed to venture out on his own and he formed his second band “The Backstreet Blues Band”. Vance was given the nickname of “Guitar” Kelly because of his precise, fast and multi-noted guitar solos. When performing for his audiences he always seems to squeeze in a great amount of feeling into every single note and tune of a song. After completing a performance for his audiences he is shown their appreciation through standing ovations, requested return performances and highly spoken praises and reviews from music critics. In 1992 Vance signed with the Austria-Europe’s Record Label, "Wolf Records". Since his signing with their label he has produced six CD’s and the CD titles are "Call Me", " “Joyriding In The Subway" (in which his daughter Vivian Vance Kelly worked on this CD project with her father) " “Hands Off", "What Three Old Ladies Can Do", "Live at Lee’s Unleaded Blues" and "Nobody Has The Power".
He is currently working on his seventh CD. Since 1988 Vance has performed for festivals here in the United States and overseas. Some of his Life accomplishments for his dedication to the music industry are as follows; the 1995 recipient for the "Living Blues Award" for the "Best Contemporary Blues Album" and the recipient of Chicago's "Best Entertainer of the Year" for 2000, 2001 and 2003. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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