Saturday, May 15, 2004

Hebb Returns to Boston from Nashville

Bobby Hebb spoke with his webeditor, Joe Vig, at 5 PM on Friday,
May 14, 2004.from Nashville. He is returning to Boston with rare photos of himself from the age of 11! There are rare Grand Old Opry pictures as well.

It is 6 PM on May 15th, 2004 and this Blog is now online.

Bobby Hebb News!
Bobby Hebb's "Sunny" aired on WBZ- AM 1030 on
March 10, 2004 at 10:19 pm - only it was a promotion
for "Paul Sullivan" - and a voiceover sang "Sully, one
so true...SULLY"...Jennifer Love Hewitt played the
part of Nancy Sinatra on AMERICAN DREAMS
in February on a Sunday night. We have a clip of it
on BOBBYHEBB.Com - the audio.

MR. Hebb is in the Boston Globe March 11, 2004

Hebb's 'Sunny' future

Songwriter set to depart Rockport

By Lisa Capone, Globe Correspondent, 3/11/2004

'Dolce" is Italian for ''sweet," but the ambience in Gloucester's Caffe Dolce was anything but one recent Monday morning. As a dozen men in blue-collar garb shouted hoarsely back and forth in Italian, Rockport's Bobby Hebb strained to be heard above the din.

''If I was going to write this . . . this scene, this disposition we're in at this particular moment, could never be 'Sunny,' " said Hebb, referring to the signature tune he wrote 38 years ago about one's state of mind or ''disposition." It was a song that rocked the pop, country, and R&B charts the summer of 1966, topping Cash Box magazine's ranking and making it to Billboard's No. 2.

A neat, trim man with a quiet demeanor, Hebb appeared a little out of place amid the coffee shop's hubbub, but he acted right at home -- drinking in the scene along with his cappuccino, and musing about how he might write it up as a song or the setting for a musical.

Those who know him say Hebb is rarely out of place anywhere. Moving nimbly among diverse musical styles from classical and jazz to R&B, pop, and country and skilled on an array of instruments from guitar and cello to spoons, Hebb toured with the Beatles, played a private gig for the late Taiwan leader Chiang Kai-shek and his wife, and was the third black performer ever to appear at the Grand Ole Opry when he debuted with country legend Roy Acuff as a pre-teen in 1952.

According to Fred Boucher, who owns the Blacksmith Shop, a restaurant in Hebb's neighborhood, ''He's basically been a mover and shaker all his life."
Hebb's life will be celebrated later this month as part of a new Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum exhibit. Hebb plans to travel to his native Nashville for the March 27 opening of ''Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues 1945-1970," where he'll speak on a panel about the ''intersections between R&B and country music." It is something that ''Bobby's career typifies," said Hall of Fame spokesman Michael Gray.

The exhibit will feature the tweed jacket Hebb wore on the 1966 Beatles tour, antique spoons he played at the Grand Ole Opry, the original ''Sunny" sheet music, and photos of Hebb and his family -- a musically gifted clan headed by gospel musician parents.
Gray said an accompanying two-CD set includes Hebb's recording of ''Sunny" -- a song that has since been covered by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Cher, and myriad others. Hebb said he stopped counting after 500 recordings.

'' 'Sunny' is one of the most recorded songs in US pop music history. That song broke on three different genres and now it's also a jazz standard and there's also been a disco hit," said Joe Viglione, a Medford music writer and video producer who has followed Hebb's career and calls him ''a musical chameleon."
While Hebb's prolific composing in younger days earned him the nickname ''song-a-day man," he said he was really writing several daily. Hebb scored a second triumph on the charts in 1971 when he cowrote the Lou Rawls hit, ''A Natural Man." While his other songs didn't gather anything close to the acclaim of ''Sunny," Hebb recorded many -- relying on live audiences to advise him on which songs to keep or discard from the repertoire.

A remake of the original ''Sunny" album is in the works and Hebb said he hopes it will be released by July 26, when he turns 66 -- a number matching the year ''Sunny" hit the airwaves.

''If I get three or four [songs] a week now, I'm happy. The song I wrote this morning was called 'Power Play,' " he said, describing his newest composition as an experiment in harmonies on guitar.
Besides songwriting, Hebb said he is working on a television special and a musical comedy. And, while show contracts aren't yet in hand, Hebb said he might tour New England in coming months. Last summer, he played a classic hits show in Lynn, and appeared at Emerson Inn by the Sea in Rockport. He also did a concert tour last year in Germany, and in Japan in 2002.

''I feel like I'm 25," he said.

For younger musicians, Hebb is an inspiration.
''In terms of a musical mentor, he's one of the best," said Plum Island keyboardist, composer, and producer Eric Goldberg, who worked with Hebb in the 1990s.

''To perform with him, the way he gets the crowd going, is just incredible. The range -- he goes from old standards [such as] 'Body & Soul,' and he'll jump from something like that to something like 'That's the Way I Like It,' and then do the spoons thing right after that. He has the energy of an 18-year-old."

Both Goldberg and Rockport guitarist Peter Fedele, who works with Hebb's nephew, bass player Thomas Hebb, spoke of Hebb's deep knowledge of music technique and theory.

''Whenever I get him to sit in, it's always a good thing. It's like a lesson for me. It's cool he's still writing great stuff," said Fedele, who has played Hebb's tunes during a weekly gig at Gloucester's Blackburn Tavern. ''I admire him for the fact that he's still doing it, which, in this business, is a tough thing."

After living 30 years in Rockport, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Salem, Hebb is preparing to move back to Nashville to be near his four sisters. Although he bought a home in Nashville, ''I won't be leaving 100 percent," said Hebb, whose daughter lives in Methuen. He said his music publishing and production business, Bobby Hebb Productions -- and a piece of his heart -- will stay in Rockport.
''I learned a lot more and experienced things by being here," he said. ''This is what I was looking for."

© Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company.

Bobby Hebb websites regarding 1966 Beatles Tour
Dave Schwensen's site on Bobby & The Beatles, August 14, 1966 is great!

Bobby Hebb Japanese album on


Volkswagon used
SUNNY by JAMIROQUAI in a commercial that
was here - don't know if it still is ---

update march 11, 2004; last update 11/24/03

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