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The Preacher
June 27, 2014 7:40 PM   Subscribe

Bobby Womack--one of the last surviving soul greats from the Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding generation--has died. Nicknamed "The Preacher" for his authoritative, church-trained voice and the way he introduced songs with long discourses on life, Womack never had the success of contemporaries like Marvin Gaye, Al Green or Otis Redding. For a good part of his career, he was better known as a songwriter and session musician.

But to the popular musicians of the day, Womack was indispensible. He recorded with, or wrote songs covered by, everyone from the Rolling Stones to Wilson Pickett to Sly Stone (Womack produced There's A Riot Goin' On) to the J. Geils Band.

Eventually, Womack's albums Communication (1971) and Understanding (1972) delivered enduring R&B hits, and in 1972 he provided the soundtrack for Barry Shear's blaxploitation movie Across 110th Street: the title track would prove to be his most popular single.

Bobby Womack was seventy.

The Womack Brothers - Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray

The Valentinos - It's All Over Now

If You Think You're Lonely Now

That's The Way I Feel About 'Cha

Woman's Gotta Have It

Across 110th Street (with Soul Train interview)

A rather comprehensive YouTube playlist

The Bravest Man in the Universe

The making of his latest album, The Bravest Man in the Universe

His induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and his performance at the ceremony.
posted by magstheaxe (46 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Play among the stars, Preacher.

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posted by scody at 7:43 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


My personal fave.
posted by mykescipark at 7:46 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Fantastic voice. Very sad news.

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posted by SpecialSpaghettiBowl at 7:47 PM on June 27


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posted by LobsterMitten at 7:48 PM on June 27



posted by dbiedny at 7:49 PM on June 27


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posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:53 PM on June 27


Unsung"s episode on Bobby Womack.

I Can Understand It

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posted by fuse theorem at 8:02 PM on June 27


It's "she had my nose open," Mick.

But you go ahead and record one of my songs any time you like.


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posted by Herodios at 8:05 PM on June 27


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posted by trip and a half at 8:24 PM on June 27


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posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 8:32 PM on June 27


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posted by GrapeApiary at 8:39 PM on June 27


Daylight – Safety Zone
Whatever Happened to the Times – The Bravest Man in the Universe

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posted by chinesefood at 8:40 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


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posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:47 PM on June 27


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posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 9:22 PM on June 27


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posted by Meep! Eek! at 9:24 PM on June 27


holy forking shirt!!!!!!!!!

i had no idea about the original version of "It's All Over Now."

that is just the whole reason single-celled animals arose in the ocean and evolved into us.
i mean, come on. that's the most fucked up, sweet and basic production ever. an absolutely superb example of why we are all here.

thank you!!

every mix tape i make for the next ten years is getting blessed with this song.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 9:33 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


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posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:02 PM on June 27


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posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 10:15 PM on June 27


I can't sleep at night. When you're on my mind,
Bobby Womack's on the radio, singing to me, "If you think you're lonely now..."

posted by Snarl Furillo at 10:23 PM on June 27


Ah god, when "Across 110th St" plays in Jackie Brown...

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posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:41 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


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posted by Mister Bijou at 11:03 PM on June 27


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posted by Elmore at 11:13 PM on June 27


The Guardian's useful obit
posted by Mister Bijou at 11:21 PM on June 27


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posted by Lynsey at 11:31 PM on June 27


Oh this is very sad news. We saw him in concert at the Sydney Opera House last year, and it was a fantastic show.

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posted by arha at 1:12 AM on June 28


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Damn.
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posted by HandfulOfDust at 3:58 AM on June 28


What a way for his career to go out.

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posted by heatvision at 4:45 AM on June 28


I like the story of how when he was approached by Damon Albarn to be on the Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach (on Stylo and Cloud Of Unknowing), he asked his daughter if it would be a good thing to collaborate with him. She said it would. Damon, of course, as mentioned in the article, went on to co-produce Womack's The Bravest Man in the Universe.
posted by juiceCake at 4:50 AM on June 28


Man, really?
Damn.


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posted by Gelatin at 6:34 AM on June 28


How I Miss You Baby

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posted by box at 8:20 AM on June 28


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posted by litleozy at 4:26 PM on June 28



Bobby and the other Womack brothers / Valentinos grew up in Cleveland. Here's an appreciation by the local NPR station (audio and transcript).

Includes a bit of audio of Sam Cooke coaching the Valentinos at their first recording session: "Since you’re singing words, let’s sing them as precise as we can, huh? Get me?"

Conrad-Casserole: i had no idea about the original version of "It's All Over Now." . . . every mix tape i make for the next ten years is getting blessed with this song.

You might want to look for the version put out a few years back by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band with Dr. John on vocals and piano. Make a New Orleans march tune out of it. Delicious!
 
posted by Herodios at 7:11 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]


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