Bobby told me that Ben Tucker brought the sheet music and a cassette to Japan. That would make Mieko's rendition and David Pike's 1965 vibraphone rendition on Atlantic Records in America the first two released versions of "Sunny" on the marketplace.
I was listening to Bobby's version today at 4:08 P.M. Eastern time while on the rotary in Medford to South Border Road, Winchester, and a van pulled up to the yield sign with "SONNY'S" painted across it!
A definite sign!
Here's a fascinating website:
Hirota’s version of ‘Unwind Yourself’ – for some reason retitled ‘On a Sorrowful Day’ rolls along at a brisk pace with a nice horn chart (with just a hint of the baritone sax figure from Marva Whitney’s OG) and some cool guitar. As I said before, it can’t really compare to the power of the original, but it is an interesting window into the international reach of the James Brown sound.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back on Monday.