Monday, August 17, 2009
Jango Song Of The Day-Bobby Hebb
Album:Night Train To Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues 1945-1970
Though Sunny was Bobby Hebb's only top ten pop hit in 1966, he has had a long and distinguished career as a performer and songwriter in Nashville. He was born Robert Von Hebb July 26, 1938 in Nashville. His parents were blind musicians and Hebb made his performing debut tap dancing on the Jerry Jackson Revue at age 3. Bobby and his older brother Hal performed with their parents in Nashville clubs in the 40s. Hal would go on to be a member of The Marigolds. When Hebb joined Roy Acuff's Smokey Mountain Boys in 1952, he became one of the first blacks to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. He moved to Chicago in 1954 and played on some blues sessions and then moved back to Nashville in 1958 after a stint in the Navy. His 1958 regional hit Night Train To Memphis led to a move to New York and he eventually replaced Mickey Baker in the duo Mickey & Sylvia. Hebb wrote Sunny after his brother Hal was killed in a knife fight in 1963. His manager had trouble selling the song but Hebb cut a demo with producer Jerry Ross and Philips Records released Sunny and it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966. Hebb also toured with The Beatles. Cher also had a hit with the song in 1966 and Boney M hit with a disco version in 2000. Hebb himself released a disco version in 1976. Hebb has had several hits as a songwriter, most significantly the Lou Rawls 1971 hit A Natural Man. This 2CD various artists comp was released in 2004 to coincide with a special exhibition at the Country Music Hall Of Fame in Nashville. There are some very rare songs on it. Bobby Hebb has continued to perform and last recorded in 2005. Here's Bobby Hebb performing Sunny 1966.