This week’s top tune has a habit of popping up in many places, particularly on the pages of Notable’s site (it’s always sunny at Notable Music Co.). Often we’re guilty of highlighting many of the hundreds of artists who have recorded Hebb’s 1966 pop-soul smash. The tune stalled just short of the top of the pop (no. 2) and R&B (no. 3) charts in the U.S. and made it all the way to no. 1 or top 5 in most countries around the world.
This week we’d like to loop back and focus on the version recorded by the original author and the man himself, Bobby Hebb:
“Sunny is more than just a finger-popping staple. The song was written in the wake of a pair of tragedies that occurred within days of each other – the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the fatal stabbing, outside a Nashville nightclub, of Hebb’s older brother Harold. With it’s haunting melody, pressing rhythms, and determination, in the face of the grief that inspired it, to look on the positive side of things, Hebb’s recording of Sunny captured the spirit of its time. If only implicitly, it gave voice to the mix of promise and betrayal felt by millions of Americans hoping for the end of the war in Vietnam and for the arrival of freedom and equality as augured by the movement for civil rights”. –Bill Friskics-Warren, The Oxford American.
Perhaps this is a voice that rings as true this summer as it did then.
On this week in music history 1966, as Sunny climbed the charts, The Beatles wrapped up a tour of the U.S. with supporting acts Bobby Hebb, The Remains, The Cyrkle and The Ronettes. August 28 (Dodger Stadium) and August 29 (Candlestick Park) 1966 would end up being The Beatles’ last official live concerts. Their only other live appearance would be an unannounced performance on the rooftop of the Apple building in January of 1969.
Contact & Licensing info:
“Sunny” was written by Bobby Hebb. Published by Portable Music Co. (BMI). Contact: Damon Booth / email@example.com. Administered by Downtown Music Publishing. Contact: Sean McGraw / firstname.lastname@example.org. Master controlled by Universal Music Group. Contact: Doug James / email@example.com
Aug 27 2014
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!
Contact & Licensing info:
Original Master controlled by Universal Music Group / http://www.universalfilmandtvmusic.com
Written by Bobby Hebb, Published by Portable Music Co. Inc. (BMI). Contact: Damon Booth firstname.lastname@example.org. Administered by BMG Chrysalis / contact: Wendy.Griffiths@bmgchrysalis.com
Jul 17 2013
“No, you can’t get to heaven on one amen.” sings Billy Preston. “You got to hallelujah again & again”.
Hallelujah again & again is exactly what Billy did. He starting out as a prodigy on organ and piano and by age 10 was backing up gospel diva Mahalia Jackson before lending an amen or two in studio sessions and tours with the likes of Little Richard & The Beatles. His work with The Beatles on their Let It Be album set the stage for his big break as a solo artist in the early-’70′s with soul smashes of his own for A&M Records.
In early 1995, Cy Coleman had gathered together some friends in the studio to record songs from the score of his upcoming Broadway Musical hit, The Life which would go on to be nominated for 10 Tony Awards winning 2 or Lillias White and Chuck Cooper. Joe Williams, Lou Rawls, Bobby Short and incredibly the last recorded performance by George Burns would accompany Billy on this album. Go ahead and testify fellas, again & again.
Contact & Licensing Info:
Master controlled by Sony / http://hub.sonymusic.com/licensing/contact/
Publishing controlled by Notable Music Co. – contact Damon Booth email@example.com/ Administered by BMG Chrysalis / contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov 21 2012