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Bobby Hebb - Love Love Love

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Published on Aug 31, 2007

This is another performance filmed for my now legendary documentary, "The Strange World Of Northern Soul". "Love Love Love" was massive at Blackpool Mecca in the early days, but my favourite is "You Want To Change Me". Bobby Hebb is an African American singer and songwriter, best known for his 1966 recording of "Sunny". Hebb's parents, William and Ovalla Hebb, were both blind musicians. Hebb and his older brother Harold performed as a song-and-dance team in Nashville, beginning when Bobby was three and Harold was nine. Hebb performed on a TV show hosted by country music record producer Owen Bradley, which earned him a place with Grand Ole Opry star Roy Acuff. Hebb played spoons and other instruments in Acuff's band. Harold later became a member of Johnny Bragg and the Marigolds. Bobby Hebb sang backup on Bo Diddley's "Diddley Daddy". Hebb played "West-coast-style" trumpet in a US Navy jazz band, and replaced Mickey Baker in Mickey and Sylvia. On 23 November 1963, the day after John F. Kennedy's assassination, Harold Hebb was killed in a knife fight outside a Nashville nightclub. Hebb was devastated by both events and sought comfort in songwriting. The song he wrote was the optimistic "Sunny": "All my intentions were just to think of happier times -- basically looking for a brighter day -- because times were at a low tide. After I wrote it, I thought "Sunny" just might be a different approach to what Johnny Bragg was talking about in "Just Walkin' in the Rain". "Sunny" was recorded in New York City, which resulted in a tour with The Beatles for Hebb. It is one of the most covered popular songs, with hundreds of versions released. BMI rates "Sunny" number 25 in its "Top 100 songs of the century" "Sunny" has been recorded by, among others, Boney M, Cher, Georgie Fame, Johnny Rivers, Frank Sinatra with Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, the Electric Flag, The Four Seasons, the Four Tops, Wilson Pickett, Les McCann, Dusty Springfield, and The Alex Trio featuring David Wise. One cover, a disco version called "Sunny '76" was a hit for Hebb in that year. Although he is considered a one-hit wonder, Hebb also had hits with his "A Satisfied Mind" in 1966 and "Love Me" in 1967, and has written many other songs. After thirty five years Bobby Hebb recorded a new album. That's All I Wanna Know was the first commercial release by Hebb since James Flemming Rasmussen produced Love Games for Epic Records in 1970. It was released in Europe in late 2005 by Tuition, a new pop indie label. Bobby Hebb was the third African-American to ever perform at the Grand Ole Opry.

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