EditorialFor the love of music


For when you’re feeling social


Craig Clemens

July 02, 2014

Confirmed Friday night by Rolling Stone, Bobby Womack passed away at the age of 70. The cause of death is currently unknown. The Rock & Roll hall of famer was the son of two musicians and began his career as a member of Curtis Womack and the Womack Brothers with his siblings Curtis, Harry, Cecil and Friendly Jr. After catching the attention of Sam Cooke and signed to Cooke’s SAR Record label in 1960 they changed their name to the Valentinos and developing a more soul and pop based sound. By 1964 the Valentino’s had released “It’s All Over Now” which, when covered by the Rolling Stones, reached number one on the UK singles charts.

When Sam Cooke was shot in 1964 Womack married his widow, Barbara Campbell while the Valentinos broke up as SAR Records collapsed. Upon the break-up of the band, Womack became mainly a session musician, playing guitar on many seminal soul and R&B records, including Aretha Franklin’s Lady Soul,  before releasing his debut Fly Me To The Moon in 1968.
Following the death of Womack’s brother Harry in 1974, his career stalled as he began dealing with addiction, most notably following his 1981 hit “If You Think You’re Lonely Now”. Eventually Womack checked himself into a rehab center for treatment. After getting clean Womack suffered from a wide range of medical problems: diabetes, pneumonia, colon cancer, and even early stages of Alzheimer’s disease; he was declared cancer-free in 2012. In 2012 Womack began a career renaissance with his release of The Bravest Man in the Universe, his first record in over 10 years. A critical smash-hit it made the Rolling Stone 50 Best Albums of 2012. “You know more at 65 than you did at 25. I understand the songs much better now,” Womack told Rolling Stone at the time. “It’s not about 14 Rolls Royces and two Bentleys. Even if this album never sells a nickel, I know I put my best foot forward.” Upon his death, Womack was in the process of recording his next album for XL, tentatively titled The Best Is Yet to Come and reportedly featuring contributions by Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart and Snoop Dogg. R.I.P. Bobby Womack – here are some of our favorites!