Saturday, June 28, 2014


Influential and underrated R&B musician Bobby Womack has died at the age of 70. Born in Cleveland in 1940, he started in a family gospel group named The Womack Brothers. They came to the attention of Sam Cooke and he gave the 5 brothers their 1st big break, signing them to his own SAR record label. Renamed The Valentinos, they scored an R&B hit with "Lookin' For A Love" in 1962. Bobby co-wrote the group a song entitled "It's All Over Now" which, in 1964, became the 1st UK #1 for The Rolling Stones.
Bobby married Sam Cooke's widow just 3 months after the renowned vocalist's tragic shooting. This made him unpopular and his group's fortunes plummeted. Bobby worked as a backing guitarist on recordings for other R&B acts including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and, in particular, Wilson Pickett. 
By the late 1960s, Womack was back in favour. Janis Joplin recorded his "Trust Me". He even returned to the R&B Chart with his solo releases. Womack played with Sly & The Family Stone and his beautiful "Breezin'" later became a hit for George Benson. In 1972, he reached #1 R&B with "Woman's Gotta Have It". A re-recording of "Lookin' For A Love" became his 2nd chart toppper. Around this time, he released the beautiful blaxploitation film title track for 'Across 110th Street' (used years later in 'Jackie Brown'). 
Sadly, drugs and other issues soon soured his success. He continued recording throughout the subsequent decades. Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2012, Womack's 1st album in 13 years was issued. Damon Albarn from Blur and Gorillaz produced. Womack passed away Saturday June 28. His cause of death is yet to be determined.

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