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Bobby Hebb: “Sunny” and “Got You On My Mind”

It’s interesting to compare the staid, probably lip-synced and homogenized version of Bobby Hebb’s great song, Sonny (at this link) and the far funkier treatment Hebb and Ron Carter give it in the video above. The earlier version is the more familiar one, of course. In that era, great talents often had to tone it down to get television time.

An interesting passage from Wikipedia’s profile of Hebb and the fate of his older brother:

On November 23, 1963, the day after John F. Kennedy‘s assassination, Harold Hebb was killed in a knife fight outside a Nashville nightclub. Hebb was devastated by both events and sought comfort in songwriting. Though many claim that the song he wrote after both tragedies was the optimistic “Sunny“, Hebb himself stated otherwise. He immersed himself in the Gerald Wilson album, You Better Believe It!, for comfort. (Continue Reading…)

“Got You On My Mind” is below. Here is a site dedicated to Hebb and a discography.

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Reading Music

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Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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