|Alice Clark an appreciation|
|Written by Joe Viglione|
|Saturday, 19 September 2009 15:02|
|Last Updated on Saturday, 19 September 2009 15:44|
|Bobby Hebb and The Beatles|
|Written by Joe Viglione|
|Thursday, 17 September 2009 14:22|
SUNNY The Bobby Hebb Story Chapter 1
Bobby Hebb in Canada August 17, 1966
Wednesday, January 23, 2008 1:55 PM
On August 17, 1966 at the Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada, The Beatles appeared at one of the 14 stops on their American tour. Bobby Hebb's "Sunny" was #1 in Cashbox and #2 in Billboard July 23, 1966 - so it was high on the charts while the recording artist was smack dab in the middle of the Beatles tour.
In retrospect, you had the singer/composer Paul McCartney's "Yesterday", is one of the most recorded songs in all music history. "Yesterday" hit #1 in October of 1965 so for another songwriter to come along with a song equaling the majesty of McCartney's gem. We haven't seen that one-two punch of songwriting genius in decades and now these two songwriters were sharing the stage. After performing a Muddy Waters' song entitled "Got My Mojo Working", Bobby Hebb says to the crowd "Thank you very much. This is a song you made possible..." and when Barry Tashian and The Remains begin the opening chords there's pandemonium on an equal scale to The Beatles. For of all the opening acts on the bill, only Bobby Hebb had the timing perfect - his song riding the top of the charts just as he's touring with The Fab Four, and his song being - unarguably - as perfect a composition as anything composed by Lennon & McCartney.
On January 22, 2007, over forty years later, I was privileged to hear the opening acts to this Canadian concert on an audiotape that survived the ages. Reminiscent of D.J. Little Walter DeVenne taping Jimi Hendrix with Little Richard discovered by my TV show, Visual Radio, (which Walter was kind enough to play for John McDermott of the Jimi Hendrix Estate and myself) this is a rare, one-of-a-kind historic museum piece that fans need to be able to study and enjoy. This audio from August 17, 1966 captures a pivotal moment in history on a monumental concert tour that has - to this date- not surfaced substantially in audio/visual form outside of Barry Tashian's wonderful book "Ticket To Ride."
The Ronnettes are Ronnie-less, so when you hear them perform "Be My Baby" or The Shirelle's "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", you are hearing the back-up singers According to Artist's Facts "Spector did not let Ronnie tour with The Beatles. He replaced her with another Bennett cousin." So you had Estelle Bennett Vann and Nedra Talley Ross along with another Bennett, but not Ronnie. How absurd! But the point here is that those songs sung by this version of The Ronettes were hits in 1963 and 1964.
The Cyrkle, on the other hand, had the guidance of Brian Epstein to help them and their #2 Billboard hit, "Red Rubber Ball", hit on June 4 of 1966 while "Turn Down Day" was #16 on August 27th, according to Joel Whitburn's essential "The Billboard Book Of Top 40
Hits". So The Cyrkle were riding high at the same time Bobby Hebb was - Mr. Hebb's second hit from the "Sunny" album, "A Satisfied Mind", reached #39 on November 5, 1966. Oh, to go back in time and change releases! "A Satisfied Mind" was a #1 Country hit for Porter Wagoner in 1955, and Philips Records SHOULD have
followed the smash with "Love Love Love" or "Love Me".
On the concert stage Hebb's voice and sound are phenomenal. To hear this vintage concert after recording many Bobby Hebb performances live (since 1995) well, as you can imagine the renditions are different, soulful and exciting.
The Hebb show with The Beatles opens with a Bobby Hebb original, "Crazy Baby", the tenth track on the "Sunny" album. It is followed by a beautiful version of Van
McCoy's "For You", the twelfth track on "Sunny". McCoy, of course, scored with "The Hustle" during the disco era, a #1 hit in May of 1975. The next track is a cover of a Darlene Love & The Blossoms Reprise 45 RPM which may have been a minor hit. "Good Good Lovin" was the flip of their "That's When The Tears Start" circa 1963 and was written by Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil. At a minute and 29 seconds it is the shortest song on the Sunny album, track 5.
Bobby Hebb's Concert Performance with The Beatles show
1)Crazy Baby (Bobby Hebb)
2)For You (Van McCoy)
3)Good Good Lovin (Mann/Weil)
4)Got My Mojo Working (Muddy Waters)
5)Sunny (Bobby Hebb)
Bobby likes to call "Got My Mojo Working" by another name "Mojo Workout", but
"Workout" was inspired by Muddy Waters where Bobby actually plays the original
Muddy Waters tune "Got My Mojo Working".
"Mojo Workout" is the title of a Sundaze Paul Revere & The Raiders release, written by Larry Bright and recorded by one of Hebb's friends and mentors, Bill Cosby (on Silver Throat: Bill Cosby Sings) as well as Larry Bright (credited on AMG to Julianna Bright).
According to Bright's bio on AMG:
"Once in the studio, Bright, inspired by Muddy Waters' "mojo song" (he didn't know the title) decided to make up a mojo song of his own: "Mojo Workout." After local
black-owned Tide Records picked it up, the track received heavy airplay on KGFJ, the major R&B station in L.A. Jim Randolph, a black disc jockey at the station, thought Bright was a black artist and pushed him heavily. The song went on to hit number one on the
black music charts in June 1960, and also charted, barely, on the Hot 100 at number 90." (Brian Thomas from AllMusic.com)
Bobby played "Got My Mojo Working" considerably in his days at The Blue Morocco with Sylvia Robinson (of Pillow Talk fame). Bobby replaced Mickey "Guitar" Baker in Mickey & Sylvia (they, of course, hit with "Love Is Strange"), Bobby & Sylvia releasing one 45
RPM together, but Bobby being nicknamed "Mojo" while performing at that venue. (You can hear the "Love Is Strange" guitar riff in Dave "Baby" Cortez's hit "Rinky Dink". That's because it is Bobby Hebb on lead guitar; Bobby did a LOT of sessions for other artists: soul pioneer Roscoe Shelton, for John Lee Hooker (while Hooker was using another name on the Excello label), honky tonk piano legend Poppa John Gordy (whose son, John Gordy Jr. became a huge football star), and others. "Rinky Dink" hit #10 in Billboard August 11, 1962. "Love Is Strange" hit #11 January 12, 1957 for Mickey & Sylvia.
Bobby told me the title to the song yesterday (when driving away from the studio I called him from the cell phone to tell him about the tape; he is getting a copy of this very rough draft,
but I thought I'd get the info on paper/e mail as the tape might be a nice way to open the biography of Bobby Hebb. I also spoke with Bobby's biographer, Joe Tortelli, at 7 PM last night about this new tape, so as further information is uncovered this essay will be
Columbia artist The Cyrkle's performance included covers of The Four Seasons and The Beach Boys, credible covers that showed their falsetto vocal prowess. The group was highly creative. And The Remains on the tape sound like the early Rolling Stones. Barry and Billy Briggs have appeared on Visual Radio and we've videotaped the group live, so -
again - being able to compare something from decades before is totally amazing. "Hang On Sloopy", "Like A Rolling Stone" and "Why Do I Cry" exist - live onstage
before The Beatles.
Six years after this show, due to the Northern Soul phenomenon in England, the terrific "Love Love Love" became a huge hit for Bobby Hebb. The Jerry Ross/Joe
Renzetti tune (Ross produced the album, Renzetti was the arranger) is a terrific slice of sixties "Sunshine Pop" and should have followed "Sunny" - that it was the flip of "A Satisfied Mind" means that Philips missed it by that much! "A Satisfied Mind" is great,
but it is of a different world than what Pop fans glued to the Top 40 wanted to hear. Indeed, a year later, August 19, 1967, Jay & The Techniques would hit with "Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie", a song which is in the Bobby Hebb /Uni Music vaults, listed, but not released by Bobby. He felt the song was too much of a novelty tune, and that was to Jay Proctor's advantage - but it would have hit for Bobby Hebb exactly one year after
this show. In 2008 Bobby Hebb has agreed to sing vocals on the original instrumental
with original producer Jerry Ross - we hope to make this a reality for a new collection of
Northern Soul tunes compiled by Jerry with liner notes by yours truly
In my AMG review of LOVE GAMES I note that Bobby and
producer James Rasmussen Fleming (he scored with
former New Christy Minstrel Keith Barbour's "Echo
Park" on Epic (#40, 11/69) anticipated the Gamble &
Huff sound. Gamble & Huff worked with Bobby on the
final Philips single, "You Want To Change Me" b/w
"Dreamy" which is a Northern Soul classic selling for
$50.00 - $100.00 on eBay quite frequently and over a
long span of time.
Bobby's releases from the Sunny album follow:
"Sunny" b/w "Bread" (Philips catalog number 40305),
"A Satisfied Mind" b/w "Love Love Love" Philips,
"Crazy Baby" b/w "Love Me" Philips 40421
Jerry Ross along with Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff co-wrote "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" which hit in 1968 for Madeline Bell of Blue Mink and 1969 for The Supremes & The Temptations, but prior to that "Love Me" was written by Kenny Gamble & Jerry Ross as a
follow-up to "Sunny" (which I cover in my liner notes to the Sunny album for Hip0 Select/Uni Music Group -
If only, if only, if only "Love Love Love" or "Love Me" followed "Sunny", with the strength of The Beatles tour, and with "You Want To Change Me" waiting in the wings, Bobby Hebb's hits would have continued here in America. Why Gamble & Huff didn't add him to the Philly Sound roster is another key point to consider. Lou Rawls, one of their biggest stars, had a huge hit with "Natural Man", co-written by Bobby Hebb and actor Sandy Baron.
This book will explore the rich musical history of Bobby Hebb, starting with the Beatles tour and moving on to Sunny - two topics that could end up being books themselves.
1)"Got My Mojo Working" is the actual title of the song Bobby performed on stage, and the version on the CD is a 4:02 Muddy Waters rendition from his album "Master of the Blues".
Bobby calls the song "Mojo Workout" but it is NOT the Larry Bright tune which Paul Revere & The Raiders covered (listen to the Hebb/Toronto tape and the Muddy Waters tune)
2)Darlene Love originally covered "Good, Good Lovin'" the Mann & Weil Tune. She & Bobby were both born on July 26! along with Gary Cherone of Extreme and Roger Taylor of Queen (who both performed together at a Queen tribute)
Birthdays: Actress Marjorie Lord (90), movie director Blake Edwards (86), actor James Best (82), R&B singer-songwriter Bobby Hebb (70), singer Dobie Gray (68), actress-singer Darlene Love (67), singer Brenton Wood (67), rock star Mick Jagger (65), movie director Peter Hyams (65), actress Helen Mirren (63), rock musician Roger Taylor of Queen (59), actress Susan George (58), actor Kevin Spacey (49), rock singer Gary Cherone (47), actress Sandra Bullock (44), rock singer Jim Lindberg of Pennywise (43), actor Jeremy Piven (43), rapper-reggae singer Wayne Wonder (42), actor Cress Williams (38), actress Kate Beckinsale (35), rock musician Dan Konopka of OK Go (34), gospel/contemporary Christian singer Rebecca St. James (31), Christian rock musician Jamie Sharpe of Rush of Fools (19).
... R&B singer-songwriter Bobby Hebb (70), singer Dobie Gray (68), actress-singer Darlene Love (67), singer Brenton Wood (67), rock star Mick Jagger (65)
"Some of the Bobby Hebb information on the auction was written by rock journalist Joe Viglione who edits BobbyHebb.com for Bobby Hebb"
There's a picture of Bobby with Ringo here:
Here's a picture of Bobby with all 4 beatles
History of The Beatles
Claims opening date in Chicago was filmed:
Bobby Hebb Discography on AMG
Jerry Ross interview
Hip O Select liners
Darlene Love & The Blossoms
Barry Tashian/Ticket To Ride
Mickey & Sylvia
Bobby Hebb and The Beatles
Hundreds of millions of people around the globe have enjoyed the Bobby Hebb masterpiece "Sunny", the #25 all-time tune on BMI's most-played songs list.
On August 29, 2008
Original 1966 Beatles Audio Recording at Auction Aug. 29
A previously unknown audio example of the entire Toronto concert as a 2 hour and 20 minute documentary detailing one family's experience at the final concert appearance of the Beatles in Canada.
Here's the direct auction site:
Original 1966 Beatles Audio Recording and Tape Machine - From the Last Concert in Toronto, Canada!
Lot Number 1527
Bidding Start 8/11/2008 - 10:00 AM
Bidding Ends In 3 day(s), 13 hrs 9 mins 54 secs
Current Bid $0.00 (Reserve Not Met...more info)
Minimum Bid $10,000.00
Bobby Hebb and The Beatles! 1966!! Backed by Epic Recording artist Barry & The Remains (and Hebb himself to sign with Epic and release the Love Games lp in 1970 -Epic BN 26523), that a tape of the performance by Bobby and Barry & The Remains exists is both exciting and historic. The good news is that the performances on that tape are as good as one would hope, maybe even better.
On August 17, 1966 at the Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada, The Beatles appeared at one of the 14 stops on their American tour. Bobby Hebb's "Sunny" was #1 in Cashbox and #2 in Billboard July 23, 1966 - so it was high on the charts smack dab in the middle of the Beatles tour, a classic song that, with Paul McCartney's "Yesterday", is one of the most recorded songs in all music history. "Yesterday" hit #1 in October of 1965 so for another songwriter to come along with a song equaling the majesty of McCartney's gem. We haven't seen that one-two punch of songwriting genius in decades and now these two songwriters were sharing the stage. After performing a Muddy Waters' song entitled "Got My Mojo Working", Bobby Hebb says to the crowd "Thank you very much. This is a song you made possible..." and when Barry Tashian and The Remains begin the opening chords there's pandemonium on an equal scale to The Beatles. For of all the opening acts on the bill, only Bobby Hebb had the timing perfect - his song riding the top of the charts just as he's touring with The Fab Four, and his song being - unarguably - as perfect a composition as anything composed by Lennon & McCartney.
On January 22, 2007, over forty years later, I was privileged to hear the opening acts to that concert on an audiotape that survived the ages. Reminiscent of D.J. Little Walter DeVenne taping Jimi Hendrix with Little Richard discovered by my TV show, Visual Radio, (which Walter was kind enough to play for John McDermott of the Jimi Hendrix Estate and myself) this is a rare, one-of-a-kind historic museum piece that fans need to hear. This 8/17/66 audio captures a pivotal moment in history on a monumental concert tour that has - to this date- not surfaced substantially in audio/visual form outside of Barry Tashian's wonderful book "Ticket To Ride."
|Last Updated on Thursday, 17 September 2009 20:00|