Posts Tagged ‘BMI’

Boney M. – Sunny

European reggae infused disco-giants Boney M. released their first album, Take the Heat off Me in 1976. The group heavily toured the discos and clubs throughout Europe. Their big break came on the German television show, Musikladen where they performed “Daddy Cool”. The song quickly went to #1 in Germany followed by their take on Bobby Hebb‘s 1966 classic, “Sunny” which gave the group their second #1 hit. Boney M.’s cover of Sunny became a monster top 10 hit all over the world throughout the late 70′s cementing Bobby Hebb’s legacy of writing one of BMI‘s most performed songs of the 20th Century.

DJ’s, remixers, and crate-diggers all over the world have renewed Boney M.’s, Frank Farian string-drenched production ever since. The track has been sampled far and wide with artists ranging from Justice, Audio Jacker and Boogie Pimps, to Deee-Lite, Mark Ronson, and The Prodigy.

Featuring Jamaican-born Liz Mitchell on vocals, check out this vintage clip of Boney M.’s take on Sunny HERE.

Boney+M+PNG+Version 300x263 Boney M.   Sunny

Contact & Licensing info:

Master controlled by Sony /
Written by Bobby Hebb, Published by Portable Music Co. Inc. (BMI). Contact: Damon Booth / Administered by Downtown Music Publishing / contact: Sean McGraw /

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Stevie Wonder – Sunny

Recorded in Detroit during the summer of 1967 at Hitsville Studio A, Stevie Wonder‘s version of the great Bobby Hebb crossover hit “Sunny” is this weeks Top Tune. Motown waited until the Spring of 1968 to release the first of three singles before dropping the album that included “Sunny” at the end of the year. First came “Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day” #1 R&B, followed by “You Met Your Match” #2 R&B then finally the title track to the album Stevie’s monster hit, “For Once In My Life” #2 Pop & R&B.

Hebb was said to have written the song looking for a brighter day following the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the death of his brother in a knife fight outside a Nashville nightclub the following day. Recorded by Bobby Hebb and released in 1966, “Sunny” went on to become a worldwide smash leading to a tour of the U.S. with The Beatles. BMI rated “Sunny” number 25 in its “Top 100 songs of the 20th century”. The song’s uplifting message struck a huge chord and hundreds of hit cover versions by Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Dusty Springfield, Ella Fitzgerald, Musiq Soulchild, to recent versions by Lee Fields & The Dap-kings and Toots and the Maytals. This week we needed to share Stevie’s version complete with harmonica solo y’all.

Happy summer everybody!

for once in my life 510014ed96706 300x300 Stevie Wonder   Sunny
Contact & Licensing info:
Original Master controlled by Universal Music Group /
Written by Bobby Hebb, Published by Portable Music Co. Inc. (BMI). Contact: Damon Booth Administered by BMG Chrysalis / contact:

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James Brown – Sunny

In 1969, James Brown released Gettin’ Down To It, an album recorded with the Dee Felice Trio – the album was a departure for Brown, showcasing a quiter, more introspective side of the Godfather of Soul. The LP’s opening track was a cover of Bobby Hebb’s already iconic “Sunny” – but unlike the countless covers that had been released following Hebb’s ’66 original, Brown re-imagined the tune as a down-tempo duet (with Marva Whitney)… to stunning results.

According to BMI, “Sunny” has generated more than 7 million performances, making it one of the performing rights organization’s all-time most performed songs. A blog devoted to Hebb’s masterpiece – OneSoTrue – lists 656 known covers of the song, from the classic (Wilson Picket) to the bizarre (Leonard Nimoy). Since the blog’s last update we know of a few more – new versions by the Old 97′s Rhett Miller, and the Dap Kings featuring Lee FIelds among them.

“Sunny” was a staple of Brown’s live shows at the time – watch the master at work in this spellbinding live performance from 1971. There will never be another James Brown.
Lyrics to “Sunny” HERE.

Contact & Licensing info: Master (James Brown) controlled by Universal Music Group (ph: 310/865-0770)
Published by Portable Music Inc. (BMI), administered by BMG Rights Management / contact:

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