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Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Eight years after "Sunny" was a massive soul/pop crossover hit "Sunny" (and four years after his final release for a major label), Bobby Hebb came back on this record with a downright jaw-dropping sound. The group cooks up an infectious booglaoo funk track in which Bobby delivers a classic earthy, bluesy, and imminently soulful performance.

From Nashville, Bobby Hebb was the son of two blind musicians, and he and his brother began a life of performing when they were 3 and 9 years old, respectively. While Hebb never replicated the success of "Sunny", he was co-writer of Lou Rawls massive hit "A Natural Man" in 1971, and was also chosen by The Beatles to be an opening act on their '66 tour.

Most discographies on the web list a ? mark for the year of release of this record. Luckily, Google has the entire archive of Billboard magazine available to view on the web, where this blurb was found in the August 10, 1974 issue: "Bobby Hebb of "Sunny" fame opened Crystal Ball in Salem, MA. Debut release is "Evil Woman".

from 1974...


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scottie1 said...

Bobby Hebb gave me a copy of this song when it was released in 1974.
He wanted me to listen to it and tell him what I thought. I worked at Giant Value grocery store in Salem Mass and he lived on Chestnut Street nearby.
I told him I liked the Sunny type songs better (grew up on AM radio)
but he told me he was moving onto
a more experimental direction.
A guitarist who worked in the store
used to play with Bobby. His name is Jim Femino and he has gone on
to become a well known Nashville Songwriter (look him up online).
Jim was a really good guitar player
but told me that Bobby put him to
shame. He was that good. Also, today at 55 I love Evil Woman as I've played guitar for along time
myself. I was too young to appreciate it then. This song brought back a lot of memories of
Salem in 1974. Thanks for playing it.

Derek See said...

Thanks for sharing such a cool story, Scottie!!! Amazing.

scottie1 said...

One more thing to add is that I asked Bobby several times to show me
how to play Sunny as I knew about 10 guitar chords. He told me that it would be too hard for me. He was right as today I know that almost every time he sings the word Sunny in
the song it modulates up to a new key. Learning guitar was a lot harder
back then without video or internet
help. You tube has a great version
of Sunny played by Bobby Hebb in 1972. As you will see it is a complex song but he plays it with
such soul. He was truly a great
player. Had he gave lessons I would
have taken them but he was simply
to busy with his own career.
I made up for it though as I play
every day and try to play with as
much feeling as I can put into it.
Bobby Hebb sure did. Thanks again
for the song.