UNSUNG: BOBBY WOMACK
Premieres Jan 9, 2012
I have to admit, I am going to be biased on this review. Bobby Womack is by far one of my favorite singers of all time. His single “Harry Hippie” is one of my Top 10 all time favorite songs ever. Since I started out in the industry as a singer, I used to cover some of Bobby’s material for auditions and I always got in (lol). Few and I mean FEW singers can deliver songs with such an outrageous amount of emotion that can actually make you FEEL like you are there or that you can relate to what they are singing about. I dare ANYONE to deny Bobby Womack‘s iconic, yet underrated, status.
Bobby started out in Gospel but his friend Sam Cooke got him a record deal with the group The Valentinos. They rehashed a Gospel song and changed it to a secular version titled “Looking for a Love” which was an INSTANT smash out the gate. He was an instant star.
Bobby still had a LOT of disappointments during his career as well: Being Blackballed during his career climb, the loss of two of his children, the death of his close friend Sam Cooke and the death of his brother Harry, killed by his girlfriend… all of this disappointment served to fuel Womack’s addiction to cocaine. After singer Sam Cooke was murdered in a Los Angeles hotel at 33, Bobby was supposed to be nurturing Cooke’s widow, Barbara Cooke but he ended up marrying her 4 months after Sam’s death, which did not sit well with fans or black radio. Stations refused to play his songs and he was blackballed. Womack states he was even billed at “The man who married Sam Cooke’s Wife” and that he got no response from the audiences when he would go on stage, not even a cough. Luckily for him he was a great writer and guitar player and he managed to do some outside work that brought the attention back to him and gave him a second chance. During the 60’s one of Womack’s songs, “It’s All Over Now” was recorded by The Valentinos making a modest dent on the charts, but when The Rolling Stones recorded it without Bobby’s permission but still giving him credit, it was a smash. Bobby was still pissed until Sam Cooke, pretty much a music industry vet by this time, told him to wait until he saw the check he was about to get from those white boys recording his music. Bobby got a check for $30,000 in 1964 as a part of the royalties which back in the 60s had to be like $250,000 today. I will leave the other surprises for you to see when the show premieres. Womack is currently suffering from Prostate Cancer and Diabetes which he appears to have under control. He is STILL performing.