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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Legend: Bobby Womack

b. Bobby Dwayne Womack, 4th March 1944, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.

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Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Bobby Womack comes from a large family.

Various family members have been successful in their own right (Womack & Womack etc.)

He was one of the founding members of the Valentino's and was part of the late Sam Cooke's band as a gutiarist.

Bobby was later to cause a little scandal by marrying Sam's ex-widow, Barbara Campbell.

The Valentino's were, originally, formed in the early 1950's and also featured Bobby's brother Cecil within the line-up.

Bobby's early solo recordings included, 'Nothing You Can Do' and 'I Found A True Love'.

Following the demise of the Valentino's, Bobby reverted to session recordings.

He worked with the late Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Sam Cooke as mentioned.

Bobby was a regular visitor to Chips Moman's American Recording Studio.

He, also, worked with Wilson Pickett on 'I'm In Love' and 'I'm A Midnight Mover' which are two of the 17 Womack songs that particular artist would record.

His solo activities resumed with singles on Keymen and Atlantic Records.

Bobby then relocated to the Minit imprint, recording several R & B hits, including 'It's Gonna Rain', 'How I Miss You Baby', in 1969, and 'More Than I Can Stand', in 1970.

His early albums included 'Fly Me To The Moon', on Minit 1968, 'My Prescription' on Minit in 1969 and 'The Womack Live' for the Liberty imprint in 1970.

'There's A Riot Going On', Sly Stone's 1971 collection, Bobby played guitar.

Bobby relocated to United Artists and released 'Communication', the title track to Womack's first album for the label.

'Understanding', followed and contained the songs 'That's The Way I Feel About Cha' (number 2 R & B), 'Woman's Gotta Have It' (number 1 R & B) and 'Harry Hippie' (number 8 R & B).

Successive albums, 'Facts Of Life' (1973), 'Looking For A Love Again' (1974), 'Across 110th Street', 'B W Goes C & W' (1976) and 'I Don't Know What The World Is Coming To', followed and were highly popular.

'BW Goes C & W' closed his United Artists contract.

n 1979, Bobby recorded the album 'Roads Of Life' for the Arista imprint.

That set included the hugely popular song 'How Could You Break My Heart' and saw a collaboration with the late Patrick Moten, who had recorded successful material with Anita Baker and Rosie Gaines.

In 1980, Bobby collaborated with the Crusader, Wilton Felder, on the song 'Inherit The Wind', a tune destined to become a Soul classic.

In 1981, Bobby signed with Beverly Glen, a small Los Angeles independent, where he recorded 'The Poet', which featured the songs 'So Many Sides Of You' and 'Where Do We Go From Here?'.

This excellent set furthered his career, while a single, 'If You Think You're Lonely Now', reached number 3 on the R & B chart.

The 'Poet II' in 1984 featured three duets with Patti LaBelle, one of which, 'Love Has Finally Come At Last', was another hit single.

That set also featured the songs 'Tell My Why', 'Surprise, Surprise' and 'It Takes A Lot Of Strength To Say Goodbye'.

Beverly Glen released a final LP culled from Womack's previous sessions, 'Someday We'll All Be Free', in 1985.

He then relocated to MCA Records in 1985, debuting with 'So Many Rivers'.

By 1989, Bobby recorded at the Solar imprint, releasing 'Save The Children'.

He also recorded on the Japanese release with the guitarist June Yamagishi, re-recording his song 'Trust Your Heart', the tune running for nearly 12 minutes!

1994's album 'Resurrection' saw Bobby's take on the Winston's song 'Color Him Father' and the anti war diatribe 'Cousin Henry' featuring a certain Stevie Wonder.

Bobby's more recent work proclaims him as 'the last Soul singer'.

In late 2000, he collaborated with U.K. artists Rae & Christian releasing, amongst others, 'Get It Right'. A fine outing.

An album entitled 'Left Handed, Upside Down', was released in 2001.

A fine soul singer, whose best work stands amongst those of Black music's singer / songwriters.








Discography:

Fly Me To The Moon (Minit 1968)
My Prescription (Minit 1969)
The Womack Live (Liberty 1970)
Communication (United Artists 1971)
Understanding (United Artists 1972)
Across 110th Street film soundtrack (United Artists 1972)
Facts Of Life (United Artists 1973)
Looking For A Love Again (United Artists 1974)
I Don't Know What The World Is Coming To (United Artists 1975)
Safety Zone (United Artists 1976)
BW Goes C & W (United Artists 1976)
Home Is Where The Heart Is (Columbia 1976)
Pieces (Columbia 1977)
Roads Of Life (Arista 1979)
The Poet (Beverly Glen 1981)
The Poet II (Beverly Glen 1984)
Someday Well All Be Free (Beverly Glen 1985)
So Many Rivers (MCA 1985)
Womagic: (MCA 1986)
The Last Soul Man (MCA 1987)
Resurrection (MCA 1994)
Back To My Roots (1999)
Left Handed, Upside Down (2001)

1 comments:

Eddie Santiago said...

Thanks for the great post on Bobby Womack. I am so glad the new hits package is out - his work is definitely worth another look. I write about Bobby and Sly's friendship and work together in my book Sly: the Lives of Sylvester Stewart and Sly Stone. I hope you'll check it out.

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