Thursday, December 23, 2004



To those of you who love the music of Bobby Hebb, get ready to find information on his close to seven decades in show business - the artist born in 1938 first stepping onstage when his older brother, Hal Hebb, tapped dance with him on July 26, 1941.

His biography and a pretty good discography is on All Music.Com:

At the time of this writing, November 24, 2004 (edited 12/23/04), there's lots of new BobbyHebb news ----Bobby performed at the Grand Ole Opry - a fantastic band backed him up as he sang "A Satisfied Mind" and "Sunny". It was broadcast on radio and TV.
Paul Corbin of BMI awarded Bobby with a plaque for 6 million spins onradio and TV of SUNNY! BMI Site with two photos:

Bobby's appearance on the wonderful "Night Train To Memphis" CD is going to get even more recognition as the album - which went to #1 38 years to the day when "Sunny" hit #1 in Cashbox - is now nominated for a Grammy. Remember, won a Grammy when he sang the Sandy Baron/Bobby Hebb classic "A Natural Man".

Ron Wynn's article in the Nashville City Paper:

is - along with the re-release of Sunny on Hip-0 Select - part of thereason there is renewed interest in "the song a day man".

---On October 17, 2004 Tim Ghianni wrote Bobby up for THE TENNESSEAN

---On October 20, 2004, Wednesday, Bobby performed at The Bluebird Cafe---On October 22, 2004, Friday The Grand Ole Opry

---On October 23, 2004, Saturday The Country Music Hall Of Fame---
WFPL Sept 11, 2004 89.3 FM

Bobby Hebb's "Sunny" (Philips 40365) has captivated generations with itsimmaculate melody and philosophy to always look at the bright side. Though many have speculated that Hebb wrote the song for God or for hisbrother and mentor, Hal Hebb, the singer has stated many times the tune isabout a "sunny disposition", something his mom impressed upon him. Andthough this recording loved by millions led to Bobby touring with TheBeatles in 1966, the eleven other performances on the album titled afterthe mega hit are also of great substance and filled with entertainmentvalue."Sunny" became a #1 hit in Cashbox Magazine and #2 in Billboard the weekof Bobby Hebb's 28th birthday, July 26, 1966 (Coincidentally, "Night TrainTo Nashville" hit #1 on the Billboard internet charts 7/26/04, 38 years tothe week after "Sunny"). Less than four months later track #7, "ASatisfied Mind" would break the Billboard Top 40. The song was a #1Country hit for Porter Wagoner eleven years earlier, but more important toBobby, it was in the repertoire of Roy Acuff, the man called "the king ofthe hillbillies." It was as a member of Acuff's band that Hebb appeared onthe Grand Ole Opry and in 1998 "A Satisfied Mind" was licensed by theCountry Music Foundation for the Warner Brothers 3 CD boxed set "FromWhere I Stand: The Black Experience In Country Music." A third hit fromthe album was track #6, co-written by the album's producer, Jerry Ross,along with its arranger, Joe Renzetti. "Love, Love, Love" (the flip of "ASatisfied Mind) became a hit recording in England finding new popularitydecades later as the "Northern Soul" phenomenon brings a new audienceawareness of this important music. The sublime merging of the Philly andthe Motown sounds is an eternal treat. It is the lead-off track on "Out OnThe Floor Again: 28 Norther Soul Floor Fillers", a compilation whichplaces the song in the British Top 35 in 1972, six years after itsoriginal release. "Love Love Love" also shows up on the 2001 Britishcompilation, "Northern Soul Connoisseurs", though minus fifteen seconds ofthe intro.Producer Jerry Ross tracked a number of demos with Bobby Hebb prior to thealbum, and there are many more songs - some in the Philips (now Uni)vaults, some released on a number of Philips 45 RPMS.

Bobby's original, "Crazy Baby" (Philips 40421), became a third releasefrom the album with a brilliant non-lp B side written by the great KennyGamble, a song entitled "Love Me" which is a second-cousin to "Sunny", ifyou will. In Argentina the 45 was titled "Amame/nena Loca" ("Love Me" b/w"Crazy Baby"}. "Apple Peaches Pumpkin Pie", the Jerry Ross/Joe Renzettihit for Jay Proctor and The Techniques was originally tracked for BobbyHebb and is listed in the master tape catalog as "Pumpkin Pie". It may ormay not have a vocal on it.Before the legendary Gamble & Huff would write and produce for Bobby, ahighly collectible 45 entitled "You Want To Change Me" b/w Hebb's own"Dreamy", Kenny Gamble composed "You Don't Know What You Got Until YouLose It" with producer Jerry Ross, track 8 on the Sunny CD. Theirparticipation was as essential as Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil's with thealbum's shortest track, the one minute and twenty nine second "Good GoodLovin' ", and the legendary Van McCoy's album closer, the elegant andDrifter's-styled "For You." McCoy wrote "Baby I'm Yours" for BarbaraLewis and his own hit, "The Hustle", of course, and this love song fromhis pen is a classic conclusion to a classic rhythm and blues album.The 43 minutes and seventeen seconds of the original l.p. (which willeventually be expanded in a HipO Select Deluxe edition) found digitalrelease around the turn of the new millennium on Vivid Sound Corporation'sJapanese issue. A wonderful compact disc with Japanese and English lyricson an insert are included in the 1999 re-release, five years before theHipO Select version. Though in the new millenium Mr. Hebb is still the"song a day man", his vast repertoire was not tapped for the dozen tunesthat appeared on his debut lp, in fact only "Crazy Baby" along with "YesOr No Or Maybe Not" joined the classic "Sunny" as ideas from his fountainpen. That's only 25 % of the material composed by the singer/songwriter. If you consider that he made his stage debut on his third birthday, tapdancing on July 26, 1941, and that his first appearance on record was alsoas a tap dancer for pianist Poppa John Gordy on the Bullet label's "WayDown South", circa 1950 (when he was around twelve years of age), it is atragedy that this magical album is but Bobby Hebb's first.With the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 came adouble tragedy for Bobby. His brother Hal, also a recording artist, was avictim of a fatal mugging the day after Kennedy's passing. Immersinghimself in Gerald Wilson's jazz masterpiece "You Better Believe It" in thedays following those tragic events no doubt inspired Bobby to compose hismasterpiece. The song landed on the Country, Rhythm & Blues and Popcharts. Recorded early on by Brother Jack McDuff and David Newman, jazzgreats Stan Kenton, Herbie Mann, Ella Fitzgerald, Pat Martino and manyothers have made it a standard in that genre. Having hit for Cher as wellas Georgey Fame, the high point in regard to covers so far would have tobe Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra's beautiful rendition.Yambu did a disco version, as did Bobby Hebb when Joe Renzetti producedand arranged a dance rendition of "Sunny" for Laurie Records. Boney M andThe Boogie Pimps have also taken the composition back into the publicconsciousness.Originally "Sunny" was test marketed in Japan. A little known fact isthat it first hit for Mieko Hirota - the "Connie Francis" of Japan. "Sunny" hit for "Miko" (her nickname) before it became an internationalsmash for its author, Bobby having sent sheet music and a recording toJapan to see how the song would fare there. Hebb only heard that versionin 2004 when magazine editor Takashi Okutaki sent a copy to America. DavePike also released it before Bobby's version became the most famousrendition. Pike's jazz instrumental from 1965 is found on his Atlantic lp"Jazz For The Jet Set".Few compositions can claim to have covers by such a diverse crew as FrankiValli, Star Trek stars William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, film greatRobert Mitchum, the stunning interpretation by Dusty Springfield, MarvinGaye's amazing take on the tune, Shirley Bassey, Jose Feliciano, JohnnyMathis, the brilliant blues group The Electric Flag, even James Brown puthis voice to the majestic melody. It appears in many a film score, is akaraoke favorite (with tons of instrumental versions appearing all overeBay), and in a weird twist of fate, becomes the name of the maincharacter in the film "Jackpot", where a fellow aspires to be a Karaokesuperstar, with Hebb's "Sunny" as part of the film soundtrack!The original Jerry Ross production and Joe Renzetti arrangement featuresMelba Moore, Nicholas Ashford and Valerie Simpson on vocals - three namesthat blend their talents superbly behind Bobby Hebb's perfect phrasing.So here it is for America again, at last, the first of only two albumsreleased by Bobby Hebb (who has recorded at least a dozen albums, many ofwhich are being prepared for release only now). Keep in mind that Hebband comedia Sandy Baron co-wrote the standard "A Natural Man" which won aGrammy for Lou Rawls (and leads off Lou's 2001 Universal compilation,"Natural Man/Classic Lou)."Sunny" hit in many territories all around the world, and collecting thepicture sleeves of this magnificent song is an experience in itself asthey vary from Germany to Japan. Bobby Hebb has recorded many albums, butonly "Sunny" and 1970s "Love Games" saw release before 2004. Lostrecordings are being digitized and the world will hear more Bobby Hebbthan ever before. What better way to start this chain reaction than bygoing back to the album that brought Bobby his initial fame, the musicthat Beatles fans got to hear as Hebb toured with the Fab Four in 1966. HipO Select does the world a great service by making this treasureavailable again to all. We are hoping to issue "SUNNY DELUXE" on Hip-0with lots of bonus tracks, and maybe even the beautiful Japanese albumcover which features Bobby Hebb in a tuxedo in front of off-pastel colors.A copy of that vinyl cover is re-printed in the Vivid CD release of SUNNYavailable in Japan.So Welcome to Bobby - send us your thoughts on the site - send us your questions for Bobby to answer

write to

Best Holiday Wishes,

Joe Viglione

MR. Hebb in the Boston Globe March 11, 2004


Bobby's Blog Spot!

Get Bobby Hebb's interview with Barry Scott here: