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Legendary musician Bobby Womack remembered for his delightful style of soul music.

Kobina "Boyo" Annan, Jr.

June 30, 2014

Robert Dwayne " Bobby" Womack was an American singer-songwriter and musician. An active recording artist since the early1960s, when he started his career as the lead singer of his family musical group the Valentinos and as Sam Cooke's backing guitarist.

Womack's career spanned more than 50 years in the styles of R&B, soul, rock and roll, doo-wop, gospel and country.

He wrote and originally recorded the Rolling Stones first UK No.1 hit, "It's All Over Now" and New Birth's "I Can Understand It" amongother songs.

Born and raised in Cleveland's East 85th & Quincy area to Naomi Womack and Friendly Womack. Womack was the third of Five brothers.

His younger brothers musicians Cecil and Harry. Raised Baptist, their mother played organ in their church and their father was a minister and musician, often known to play guitar though he advised his sons to not touch the instrument while he was away.


One night, eight- year-old Bobby, who was often playing it, broke a guitar string. After Friendly replaced the string with a shoelace, he let Bobby play the guitar for him.


According to Bobby, his father was shocked by his talent as well as the talents of his other sons. Soon afterward, he bought Bobby his own guitar and formed the The Womack Brothers. The group toured the gospel circuit with their parents accompanying them on the organ and guitar respectively.

Sam Cooke discovered the group performing while he was still in the Soul Stirrers in 1956 and began mentoring the boys, promising that he would help with their careers once he established himself. Within four years, Cooke had formed SAR Records and signed the quintet to the label.

Changing their names to the Valentinos, Cooke produced and arranged the group's first hit single, " Looking for a Love", which was a pop version of a gospel song they had released titled " Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray", written by Bobby. The song became a R&B hit and helped land the group a spot on James Brown's Revue.

The Valentinos career was left shaky after Sam Cooke was shot and killed in a Los Angels motel. Devastated by the news, the brothers disbanded and SAR Records folded.

In 1968, Womack signed with Minit Records and recorded his first solo album, "Fly me to the Moon", where he scored his first major hit. He also played guitar on several Aretha Franklin's albums, including Lady Soul.


Womack worked with rock musicians displaying his ability to work with a variety
of artists in different fields of music.

After two more albums with Minit, Bobby switched labels, signing with United Artists where he changed his attire and his musical direction with the album "Communication". The album bolstered his first top 40 hit, " That's the Way I Feel About Cha", which peaked at number two R&B and number twenty-seven on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1972.

Following Communication, Womack's profile was raised with two more successful albums. The first was "Understanding" which was certified gold.

Another hit album released after "Understanding" was the soundtrack to the Blaxploitation film "Across 110th Street". The title track would be played in the opening and closing scenes of the film, Jackie Brown, years later. He had two more R&B top ten singles during the 1980s including the Patti LaBelle duet, Love Has Finally Come at Last ", and "I Wish He Didn't Trust Me So Much."

Womack's solo career started to slow down, however, after 1985, partially due to issues with drug addiction. After sobering up in the mid-1990s, he released the album Resurrection and continued his performing career.

In early 2012, Womack entered several hospitals with health problems including pneumonia, for which he was successfully treated. On January 1, 2013, Womack admitted that  he was struggling to remember his songs and other people's names, leading doctors to suggest that he was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Bobby Womack died on June 27, 2014 at the age of 70. Though the cause of his death is currently unknown, he suffered from an array of health complications.

May you rest in Peace and your gift for soul music live on through your albums.


Kobina "Boyo" Annan, Jr.

New York, New York, June 30, 2014






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