Though he spent many years in the Los Angeles area, Bobby Womack grew up in Cleveland.
Originally a Gospel group, the five Womack Brothers were signed to Sam Cooke’s SAR Records in 1962. Sam was a true pioneer in the music business, and had a great ear for talent. At Sam’s suggestion, Bobby, Cecil, Curtis, Friendly Jr, and Harris Womack became The Valentinos.
Their two best known songs were 1962’s “Lookin’ For A Love”, which was re-recorded by Bobby as a solo act in 1974, and became his signature song. “It’s All Over Now” in 1964 brought Bobby worldwide acclaim becoming one of the first hits for a (then) little known English band called The Rolling Stones. New Orleans Blues singer Irma Thomas also covered it.
Bobby was a prolific guitar player for both Sam Cooke & Aretha Franklin. His soulful songs were also recorded by Wilson Pickett (“I’m In Love” & “I’m A Midnight Mover”), New Birth (“I Can Understand It”), and George Benson (“Breezin'”).
Bobby exploded onto the pop scene in 1971 with “That’s The Way I Feels About Cha” and never looked back.
Although he was rightfully inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame recently, I think Bobby deserves far more recognition than he has received over the years.
Listen to my top 5 Bobby Womack songs, and you will get the complete range of his talents:
1. That’s The Way I Feels About Cha (1971) Soul at it’s very best.
2. ‘Lookin’ For A Love’ (1962 & 1974) So good that it was a hit twice. A splendid mix of Rock and Soul.
3. ‘If You think You’re Lonely Now’ (1981) A real gem that covers heartbreak like no other song.
4. Woman’s Gotta Have It’ (1972). This one made Bobby a household name.
5. His 1968 recording of ‘California Dreaming’ is right up there with Jose Feliciano’s, and that is saying something.
Bobby also gave us a stirring rendition of “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out”, which is how I feel today, missing this great talent known as Bobby Womack.