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Whatever Happened To Bobby Womack

Updated on August 18, 2012

Robert Dwayne Womack was born March 4th, 1944 in Cleveland, Ohio. "Bobby" was the third of five boys in his family. Raised in the projects, Bobby's family let nothing hold them back. Father Friendly, Sr. along with mother Naomi Womack , began to hit the gospel circuit with their five boys, Cecil, Friendly Jr., Harry, Curtis and of course Bobby. Creating the Womack Brothers they began to tour. While performing one night, Sam Cooke spotted the Womack Brothers and began to pursue them for a recording contract. Persuading them to go secular they were signed and became the "Valentinos." Shortly after signing on, they recorded their first single, "Lookin For A Love" which topped the record charts at number 8 on the Billboard R&B chart. "It's All Over Now" became another single hit for the Valentinos in 1964.

When Sam Cooke passed away in December of that year, the groups career began to dwindle. The group stayed together for another year and a half before going there separate ways. Bobby struggled in the music industry, secluding himself as a session musician.

From 1964 to 1967 Bobby Womack worked at American Studios in Memphis. Playing on recordings for Tex and The Box Tops. Although not successful during this time, in 1968 the tide began to change and Bobby began to record a string of hit singles. Becoming known as a songwriter his hits included, " What is This," "More Then I Can Stand ", and "It's Gonna Rain."

Moving from Mint records in 1968 after his hit singles, to United Artists label in 1971, the album 'Communication' was released scoring the hit "That's the way I feel About Cha" becoming the first top 40 single in 1972.

Bobby Womack met with success through the early to late 70's releasing songs, "Harry Hippie", "A Woman's Got to Have it," writing and producing the soundtrack to the album to "Across 110th Street". It's title track became another hit for Bobby.

By the late 70's the limelight began to dim with the R&B audiences and he began to fall out of favor. Taking hiatus Bobby made a comeback in 1981 with the release of The Poet which included another top 10 R&B hit, "If You Think Your Lonely Now". From 1981 through 1989 Bobby Womack once again gained popularity in the R&B industry also raising money for Aids Awareness.

2009 Bobby Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A tribute album was record in Bobby's honor by Calvin Richardson which became a Grammy nominated album. Reaching #30 on the R&B U.S. chart Facts of Life: Of Bobby Womack was a hit.

In 2010, Womack was told to sing whatever came to mind during the recording of "Stylo". It would be the first single on the Plastic Beach album for the Gorillaz.

Gorillaz is an English visual and musical project created in 1998 by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. Bobby was noted as saying, " I was in there for an hour going crazy about love and politics, getting it off my chest".

Continuing to be successful Bobby Womack's discography includes 26 studio albums, 2 live albums, 9 compilation albums and 47 singles since he was discovered by Sam Cooke in 1964.


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    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 5 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Levertis Steele: Bobby Womack is a wonderful artist and I am glad you appreciate him.:)

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 5 years ago from Southern Clime

      Great hub! I did enjoy Bobby Womack.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Karen: Bobby Womack is an icon and glad you appreciate this hub. :)

    • profile image

      Karen 6 years ago

      So many wonderful memories (growing up in Brooklyn, NY in the 70s) of "Happy Hippie" and "Fly Me to the Moon". I love Bobby Womack. God Bless!!!

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Dexter Yarbrough: Bobby Womack should be recognized for his talent and his work.More appreciation is due. Glad that you gathered more information on a wonderful artist!

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 6 years ago from United States

      Hi AEvans! Great hub! "If You Think You're Lonely Now" is an all time favorite and one of the best songs ever (in my opinion). I never knew much about him until reading your hub. Thanks for providing this great bio!

      Voted up, up and away!

    • nina64 profile image

      nina64 6 years ago from chicago, Illinois

      What a great hub. I've listened to Bobby Womack's music down through the years; and it has been very good. He's down to earth, gritty and gives it to you straight from the heart. Too bad that he's underrated because of him not being a mainstream artist in the rythm and blues world. One of my favorite songs by Bobby Womack is "Looking For A Love". Voted up!!!!!!

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Roll A. Chabot: Thank you. Bobby Womack was one of my families favorites. I am so glad I was brought up listening to everything. :)

      johnearl70: I have to watch Bobby's live concert videos , he is honestly very talented. It would be delightful if one day I could meet this talented person. Maybe one day. :)

    • profile image

      johnearl70 6 years ago

      Great Hub! Very well done! Bobby Womack is one of the greatest performers in R&B music. He is underrated and deserves much more attention. His live concert performances on video are great.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 6 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Interesting Juliana... I have followed R and B off and on for years. Well written and a treat to find here this morning.


    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Cardisa: I heard him on youtube and when I was young. Mom listened to him. I especially like the song, "If You Think Your Lonely Now." But I love oldies! lolo! :)

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      Wonderful, Julianna. I haven't thought about that name in a while but I do know some of his songs. Thanks for the bio too.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Alecia Murphy: I didn't get the opportunity to watch it, but I did hear it was interesting. To many times media focuses on the negative of our talented musicians and not the positive. I knew about him and Sam Cooke's wife but felt that was old news. I agree he has managed to survive all of these years, now that is talent!:)

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      AEvans, I don't know if you've seen Bobby Womack's episode of UnSung but it aired a couple of weeks ago. It was very interesting. I didn't know much about him aside from the marriage to Sam Cooke's widow but I agree he is a dynamic talent and it's amazing that he has managed to survive all these years later. Voted up and interesting.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Sky9106: R&B is one of my all time favorites. I have a list of them coming up. Bobby Womack is fantastic! I was just listening to that song. lolo! Thanks for reading. :)

    • Sky9106 profile image

      Sky9106 6 years ago from A beautiful place on earth.

      Beautifully written . this came like a gift to me , why it did not register on my page about your hub, beats me , but in any way I found it.

      Always interested in the the family , like I am with the De, Barge and quite a few more , got to go listen to , If you think you are lonely now. Thanks for a nice read.