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Bobby Womack: Soul Man

1280px-Bobby_Womack_-_Roskilde_Festival_2010Even if you didn’t know Bobby Womack by name, you probably dug some of his songs that helped make other performers into stars.

Womack, who died on June 27 at age 70, was one of the pioneers of the soul sound – a singer, guitarist and songwriter who helped create the fusion of gospel, R&B and jazz that moved a generation to get out and groove to the music.

Womack’s own roots stretched back to the great Sam Cooke, who gave him and his brothers their start in the music business in the early 1960s. But it was in the 1970s that Womack made his mark with solo hits such as “”That’s the Way I Feel About Cha,” “Woman’s Gotta Have It”  and “If You Think You’re Lonely Now.” His 1981 album The Poet topped the R&B charts.

As the Chicago Tribune’s Greg Kot notes, Womack’s realistic lyrics about the struggles of urban life made his songs stand out: “He wrote about adult issues, and embodied characters from the preacher to the philanderer, ever the philosopher about the everyday travails in the inner city.” YouTube Preview Image

 

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Here are some more facts about a performer whose memoirs were subtitled, unabashedly, “the true story of the greatest soul singer in the world.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is Womack performing “Across 110th Street” in London in 2013. YouTube Preview Image

 

Photo: Womack at a 2010 concert by Bill Ebbesen via Wikipedia

 

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