Robert Dwayne "Bobby" Womack was born March 4, 1944 and raised in Cleveland's East 85th & Quincy area. Bobby is brother number three out of five brothers. Bobby was raised in a Baptist Church. His mother played the organ and his father was the minister and musician. When Bobby was eight he was not supposed to touch his father’s instruments. One day while his father was away he picked up his guitar. While he was playing it, he broke a string. When his father fixed the string, he let Bobby play the guitar and was amazed at his talent. That was the beginning of The Womack Brothers gospel group. Bobby was only ten years old. In 1956 Sam Cooke discovered the group Bobby was sixteen. Sam Cooke formed SAR Records and signed The Womack Brothers. The Womack Brothers recorded two gospel sides. Sam decided to have the boys switch to pop music. When their father found out they were switching to secular music, he told them they had to leave his house. Bobby and his brothers moved to Los Angeles, under Sam guidance and changed their name too, The Valentinos. The Valentinos first hit single was "Looking for a Love" a pop version of a gospel song "Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray" written by Bobby. With their hit single it landed the group a spot with the James Brown Revue. In 1964 when the country was fighting for civil rights, The Valentinos had a hit song "It's All Over Now", Bobby co-wrote it. The Rolling Stones covered it, when The Valentino’s version was rising to the top of the charts. Bobby was furious until he got his first royalty check, for the song after it became a hit. In 1964 Samuel Cook was shot in a motel room by the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California. Shortly after Sam death The Valentinos split up and Bobby went solo. Bobby created a scandal for himself. by marrying Sam’s wife Barbara Campbell and his drug use that started in the late 1960s. Which made his solo career suffer. In 1966 he settled for studio work for other artist.
Bobby Womack’s career has spanned more than 50 years. This R&B, soul, rock and roll, doo-wop, gospel, and country singer is back with a new album called “The Bravest Man In The Universe”. This album has a modern day sound with the electronic rhythms, synthesizers, and keyboards. It also stays true to Bobby Womack sound of his raspy voice and deep lyrics. Here are a list of my favorite songs on this album “Please Forgive My Heart”, “The Bravest Man In The Universe”, “Dayglo Reflection (featuring Lana Del Rey)”, “Stupid”, “Love Is Gonna Lift You Up” and “Nothin' Can Save Ya (feat Fatoumata Diawara)”.
Bobby Womack has and will always be one of my favorite singer-song writers. Every time I hear "That's The Way I Feel About Cha", "Woman's Gotta Have It", “Across 110th Street" and "If You Think You're Lonely Now", I get chills! You can listen to Bobby Womack’s new album “The Bravest Man In The Universe” on Streetwise Radio. Also listen to Streetwise radio on iTunes, Athena365, MyGen365 and live365.