Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bobby Womack, Royalty of the Soul Era, Dies at 70

Bobby Womack

Sad news yesterday with the passing of Bobby Womack. The New York Times describes him as royalty and he was indeed that. Fabulous singer, songwriter, and guitarist -- just the total package. He was an integral part of the 827 Thomas Street Band in the late sixties and played on many of my favorite recordings from that era.

From the site:

Bobby Womack, who spanned the American soul music era, touring as a gospel singer in the 1950s, playing guitar in Sam Cooke’s backup band in the early ’60s, writing hit songs recorded by Wilson Pickett and the Rolling Stones and composing music that broke onto the pop charts, has died, a spokeswoman for his record label said on Friday night. He was 70.

Sonya Kolowrat, Mr. Womack’s publicist at XL Recordings, said further details about the death were not immediately available.

Mr. Womack, nicknamed the Preacher for his authoritative, church-trained voice and the way he introduced songs with long discourses on life, never had the million-record success of contemporaries like Pickett, Marvin Gaye, Al Green and Otis Redding. His sandpaper vocal style made him more popular in England, where audiences revere what they consider authentic traditional American music, than in the United States.

But the pop stars of his time considered Mr. Womack royalty. His admirers included Keith Richards, Rod Stewart and Stevie Wonder, all of whom acknowledged their debt with guest performances on albums he made in his later years.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Houston songwriter headed to hall of fame


From the site:

LOS ANGELES - Mark James squeezes the foot of a toy rabbit on a shelf in his West Hollywood studio, but it no longer produces a song. He tries another one. No song. A third. Again, nothing. All three creatures were built to belt out the joyous "Hooked on a Feeling," which James wrote nearly 50 years ago. But such is the nature of cheaply produced merchandise.

Above link behind a paywall – here’s another link from SESAC:

From the site:

Texas born songwriter Mark James first came to prominence penning "Hooked On A Feeling" for B.J. Thomas in 1969. Later, the band Blue Swede transformed it into a 1974 chart topper. James' career breakthrough came when Elvis Presley cut his song "Suspicious Minds," which landed him a number one hit around the world and helped resurrect "The King's" career as a recording artist. In addition to hits penned for Presley which include "Moody Blue," "It's Only Love" and "Raised On Rock," James co-wrote the classic "Always On My Mind," which was recorded by Elvis and became a signature hit for Willie Nelson in 1982. In 1983, the song earned James two Grammy's® for "Song of the Year" and "Best Country Song," as well as a BMI Award for "Song the Year." Four years later, Pet Shop Boys scored a smash hit with their cover of the track. Fine Young Cannibals, Jay-Z, Dwight Yoakam and Bill Withers are among the diverse array of artists that have recorded James' songs. His music has been featured in films such as Kramer vs. Kramer, Black Hawk Down and Reservoir Dogs. In 1999, BMI announced its Top 100 Songs of the Century, which included three songs by James. Ranked #91 on Rolling Stone Magazine's "Top 500 Songs of All Time, "Suspicious Minds" remains his most beloved and enduring composition.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Moman On Bill For Elvis Week

Elvis Week

From the site:

Legendary music producer Chips Moman will be in Memphis for Elvis Week events at Graceland in August, marking the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death in 1977.

Elvis Presley Enterprises announced this week that Moman, who produced Presley’s Memphis sessions at Moman’s American Sound studios in North Memphis, will be part of the Elvis Insiders panel discussion Aug. 14 at 9 a.m. at Graceland’s main stage in Graceland Plaza.

Bobby Wood, Gene Chrisman and Reggie Young, who were part of the American Sound studio band that played on the Elvis sessions, will also be part of the discussion.