Saturday, June 08, 2013

RIP Ben Tucker - important figure in the story of Bobby Hebb's "Sunny"

We are VERY SORRY to have to report the passing of the legendary and great Ben Tucker.

Ben was on our list of people to interview.  This is a sad day in "SUNNY" history.

Ben Tucker was driving a golf cart when he was struck by an out-of-town driver on Tuesday. He was 82.

Tucker also learned the publishing business. Not long after meeting the singer-songwriter Bobby Hebb, Tucker helped him record the song "Sunny," which became a hit. Royalties from "Sunny" allowed Tucker to pursue future business opportunities.

Bassist Tucker plays on Pat Martino's EAST CD.    Martino covers "Sunny" frequently
though it is not on this disc

Album Notes
Personnel: Pat Martino (guitar), Eddie Green (piano), Ben Tucker (bass, tambourine), Tyrone Brown (bass), Lenny McBrowne (drums).Producers: Don Schlitten, J. Casas and C. Oswald.Recorded in New York, January 8, 1968. Originally released on Prestige (7562). Includes original liner notes by Mark Gardner.Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1990, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).

Like his colleague Billy Taylor, Tucker took an interest in broadcasting. In 1972, Tucker moved to Savannah, Ga. and bought the AM radio station WSOK. As one of a small handful of black radio-station owners in the country, he transformed the station into the top AM station in its market, and gave voice to the city's African-American population. The future mayor of Savannah, Otis Johnson, hosted a program. "I was the voice of the black community," Tucker told the Savannah Morning News in 2006. He later started the FM station WLVH.


Savannah music icon Ben Tucker killed in golf cart crash

Posted: June 4, 2013 - 1:13pm  |  Updated: June 5, 2013 - 2:05pm

Although he was internationally known as a jazz bassist and composer, friends remember Ben Tucker as a charitable man who did wonders for the Savannah community.
Slideshow: The Life and Legacy of Ben Tucker
The 82-year-old, who was killed late Tuesday morning when the golf cart he was driving on Hutchinson Island was struck by a speeding car, was instrumental in reviving the once-considerable jazz community in Savannah, said Teddy Adams, a local jazz trombonist and longtime friend of Tucker
The attempt — that also included the founding of the still existing Coastal Jazz Association — proved successful, said Charles J. Elmore, a retired Savananh State University educator and jazz historian who chronicled Savannah’s jazz movement in his 1999 book “All That Savannah Jazz ... From Brass Bands, Vaudeville, to Rhythm and Blues.”
“Tucker was instrumental in the resurgence of jazz here in Savannah,” Elmore said. “He founded the jazz society and really helped bring jazz back to Savannah. He was already internationally known, and today he’s in all of the major jazz anthologies.”
His biggest hit, “Comin’ Home Baby!” was composed with Herbie Mann and is “among the pantheon of great jazz standards,” said Elmore, who was “deeply saddened” Tuesday afternoon to learn of the passing of his “close, personal friend.”

“He was a gentleman and any time Savannah State or anyone would call Ben about any kind of charitable cause he would be the first person in line,” Elmore said. “Ben Tucker was not only a quintessential jazz man, but he was a great man and a great community man. Truly one of the nicest men you’d ever meet.”

SUNNY - the film 

KCS Korean Movie Night: ‘Sunny’

By Joe Bendel | June 5, 2013

Director: Kang Hyeong-cheol
Cast: Yoo Ho-jeong, Sim Eun-kyeong, Hong Jin-hee
Running Time: 2 hours
Language: Korean with English subtitles

If Cyndi Lauper floats your boat and you prefer Boney M’s version of the title song over Bobby Hebb’s original, then the film’s unabashedly 1980s soundtrack will be your catnip.

The ways screenwriter-director Kang interjects and darts around the May 1980 democracy protests also gives the film a bit of seasoning. He certainly conveys his point of view, without waving the bloody shirt. Sunny is shamelessly manipulative and sentimental, but it does exactly what it sets out to do.

3 stars

Joe Bendel writes about independent film and lives in New York. To read his most recent articles, please visit
Sunny on playlist

Musiikkia lepopäivän ratoksi 

Sarja Musiikkia lepopäivän ratoksi »
Since moving to Savannah in the early 1970s to run WSOK-AM radio, Ben Tucker played a major role in music in Savannah.

Internationally known in the jazz community for composing “Comin’ Home Baby!” with Herbie Mann in 1961 while living in New York, the native of Nashville, Tenn., is credited with helping revive Savannah’s jazz scene in the 1970s an ’80s. Additionally, he helped form the Coastal Jazz Association, owned local jazz spot Hannah’s East where he was known to play bass for local legend, Statesboro pianist and singer Emma Kelly.
During his career, Tucker played around the world with jazz giants including Quincy Jones, Peggy Lee and Billy Taylor.

Among his many recognitions, the Savannah College of Art and Design named a scholarship for him. The Ben Tucker Endowed Scholarship is awarded annually to a black student from Chatham County.
Until his death Tuesday, Tucker lived with Gloria, his wife of more than 45 years, at their home in Savannah’s downtown historic district.
(from one of the above articles)

  1. Musiikkia lepopäivän ratoksi

    YLE-Jun 3, 2013
    BOBBY HEBB - Sunny 12. JENNIFER RUSH - The power of love 13. ALISON KRAUSS & ROBERT PLANT - Sister Rosette goes before us 14.
  2. L'été sera soul sur Arte

    RTBF-Jun 5, 2013
    Elle sera par ailleurs interprète de la chanson officielle du "Summer of Soul", une reprise de Sunny de Bobby Hebb. AFP Relax News. Envoyer ...
  3. L'été s'annonce soul sur Arte

    Télé 2 Semaines-Jun 4, 2013
    C'est également elle qui interprète l'hymne estival de la chaîne, une reprise de Sunny, le classique de Bobby Hebb, que l'on peut retrouver sur ... 

In Honor of Ben Tucker, info on the Pat Martino versions of SUNNY

Album Features
Artist:Pat Martino
Release Year:2012
Record Label:High Note
Genre:Jazz General

Track Listing
1. Four On Six
2. Alone Together
3. What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life
4. Sunny
5. Left or Right
6. Visit, The
7. One For My Baby
8. Israfel


 The earlier set matches Martino with Brown, Ferguson and keyboardist Ron Thomas on three long selections: two originals and the pop song "Sunny." By the 1970s, Martino had his own fresh sound and an adventurous style that was quite distinctive. He is heard at the peak of his powers throughout this recommended twofer.!.htm

For this intriguing club date, guitarist Pat Martino (who by the early 1970s had his own distinctive sound) really stretches out on two of his originals (including "Special Door," which clocks in at 17:43) and the pop song "Sunny." With keyboardist Ron Thomas, electric bassist Tyrone Brown and drummer Sherman Ferguson offering alert and forceful support, Martino performs music that falls between advanced hard bop, fusion and the avant-garde without really fitting into any of the genres.   ...See Full Description

Album Track Listing

Click to hear an MP3 sound sampleTrkSongTime Price Buy MP3
1Special Door See All 417:46
2Great Stream See All 410:31
3Sunny See All 106:49 $0.99(Available)

No comments: