Monday, December 30, 2013

Bobby Hebb Year-End-Wrap-Up 2014

Thanks to guest writer Judi Dessanti for compiling information from our blog for the Brooklyn

Bobby Hebb's "Sunny" lives on

Bobby Hebb was born in Nashville, lived on Cape Ann in Massachusetts before moving back to Nashville, but it was New York City where "Sunny" the song first launched and became one of the most recorded songs in music history.

SUNNY by Bobby Hebb

    Looking at the 2013 year-end review on Google News there are four current stories that reference Bobby Hebb and/or "Sunny: Candlestick Park in San Francisco closing, the untimely passing of bassist Ben Tucker, Christophe Willem - releasing his own version of "Sunny" and in the year-end wrap-up Top 10 in the French and the Canadian Labor Congress utilizing the song in a political promotion (as well as a new rendition!) - not bad for a song that is almost 49 years old (the first versions by vibraphonist Dave Pike and the woman known as the Connie Francis of Japan, Mieko Hirota, were released in 1965) - author/singer Hebb's version to turn 50 in 1966...not bad at all.

   The closing of Candlestick Park, where the Beatles (their final concert not including the jam on the Apple Records rooftop) and Bobby Hebb performed on August 29, 1966, scheduled for demolition in 2015, with the last sporting event held on December 23, 2013 - the Atlanta Falcons vs. the San Francisco 49ers  The 49ers won:

Beatles and Bobby Hebb, August 29, 1966

Paul McCartney may play one of the last shows at the historic venue:

Paul McCartney is in top secret talks to perform the final show at San Francisco's Candlestick Park before the wrecking ball demolishes the sports mecca, according to media reports.

Ben Tucker remembered:

Ben and Gloria (Tucker) were married in 1966, the year that Bobby Hebb's "Sunny" — discovered and published by Ben Tucker, who'd known the Hebb family in his native Nashville — reached Number 2 in the national charts.
For a while, Gloria's husband would be out playing all night, come home to grab a few hours' sleep, then leave for his publishing office at 8 in the morning. "Ben was a very complex person," she says, "and extremely ambitious. Much more ambitious than I even realized."
You can hear the new rendition of "Sunny" that the Canadian Labor Congress is utilizing here:

Meanwhile, Bill Friskicks-Warren has written a new article on Hebb and "Sunny" for the Oxford American

Blind musicians who made their home just blocks off Nashville’s country-identified Music Row, the Hebbs wanted their son, who as a child appeared with them and his brother Hal in nightclubs and at fraternity parties, to be exposed to a wide variety of music. From jazz, blues, and classical to country, gospel, and pop, Hebb’s parents instilled in their children an inclusive aesthetic that had them readily traversing not just musical boundaries, but lines of race and class as well. His early work as a professional musician included a stint, when he was just twelve years old, working with country star Roy Acuff, for whom he tap-danced and played the musical spoons on the Grand Ole Opry. Despite the novelty value of his contributions to the act, Hebb clearly took the experience to heart, so much so that several years before “Sunny” became an international hit he released a cover of his boss’s famous “Night Train to Memphis” as a solo artist. He also reminisced fondly about receiving songwriting advice from Hank Williams Sr. while in Acuff’s employ. Similarly, his experience with “Sunny” gave Hebb further opportunity for cultural reciprocity when it earned him an invitation to tour with the Beatles in 1966.

Meanwhile McDonald's has a commercial with Hebb's voice performing "Sunny"

Somfy has a commercial with a woman singing "Sunny"

Sunny U.K. bank had an instrumental cut for their commercial utilizing Bobby Hebb's original recording and additional music. Read the interesting story on the YouTube

You can find more information on this iconic singer and his classic song on    or the song's website  with updates on the blog

The Twitter sites are:

Bobby Hebb

and  the Sunny twitter:

There are a multitude of new versions of this song being recorded and performed around the world.  No doubt 2014 will be a stellar year for "Sunny" as a 4 CD/1DVD boxed set is currently in production.

Hebb's daughter, Kitoto Von Hebb, is scheduled to perform her father's song at the Apollo Theater in New York City on February 6 along with Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, Lloyd Price, Gary U.S. Bonds and others.

More information on that show as the date approaches.

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