Bobby Hebb popped into my mind just now. I wanted to hear his voice, and voila, thanks to YouTube, here he is singing his best-known song, “Sunny.” I love everything about this video, from the song itself, to the tempo change, to his tasty guitar playing, to the raw emotion in his voice, to that awesome ElectroVoice RE-15 he’s singing into. Never hurts to have Ron Carter playing electric bass! Definitely one of the monster hits of my childhood.
I never got to meet Bobby, but I did get to speak with him on the phone not long before he passed away, thanks to a mutual friend. Bobby had heard my version of “Natural Man,” another one of his compositions, and he gave it his seal of approval. I was not sure what to expect when our mutual friend said he would like to speak with me. What I found on the other end of the phone line was a truly beautiful and generous human spirit. I can’t remember exactly the way the conversation went, but I remember the feeling of speaking with this great man. He was all about human connection and interconnectedness, a very spiritual guy. Rest in peace, Bobby Hebb, and know that your music lives on. And thank you, Joe Viglione, for making the conversation possible.