AKA Bobby Dwayne Womack
Birthplace: Cleveland, OH
Cause of death: unspecified
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: R&B guitarist and songwriter
Born into a family of musicians, Bobby Womack got his start in the music industry singing alongside his four brothers in the gospel group The Womack Brothers. While touring the gospel circuit the brothers attracted the attention of singer Sam Cooke, who eventually signed them to his SAR Records label. By 1962 the act was renamed The Valentinos, and under this name they produced the popular singles Lookin' For A Love and It's All Over Now -- both songs later being made even more popular through versions by J. Geils Band and The Rolling Stones, respectively. Womack was also enlisted to contribute guitar to Cooke's own recordings during this period.
After the shooting death of Sam Cooke in 1964, the Valentinos quickly fell apart, leaving Womack to begin a solo career. This was met with little interest at first, but he managed to establish himself instead through his work as a writer and performer for other artists such as Wilson Pickett and Dusty Springfield. A second attempt as a solo performer was made in 1969, this time resulting in a series of popular R&B singles on the Minit Label. Some work with Sly and the Family Stone in 1971 brought his profile up even higher, and after switching to United Artists he surpassed himself with soulful hits including That's The Way I Feel About Cha and Woman's Gotta Have It. The arrival of disco spelled his downfall, however, and his output after 1976 went largely unrecognized.
In 1981 Womack achieved a comeback with the release of The Poet on the independent Beverly Glen label, an album that spawned the number 3 R&B single If You Think You're Lonely Now. After this he regained some of his standing, collaborating with Patti LaBelle on some of his own songs and contributing to The Rolling Stones' version of Harlem Shuffle in 1985. The 1990s saw very little activity from the singer, but solo albums did surface in both 1994 (Resurrection) and 1999 (Back to My Roots).
Brother: Cecil D. Womack (songwriter, m. singer Mary Wells)
Wife: Barbara Campbell (widow of Sam Cooke, m. 1965)
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2009
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (24-Jul-1978)
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