Womack, Bobby 1944–
Womack, Bobby 1944–
(Bobby Dwayne Womack)
Born March 4, 1944, in Cleveland, OH; son of Friendly (a steelworker and gospel singer) and Naomi Womack; married Barbara Cooke, 1964 (divorced, 1970); married and divorced a second time; children: Truth, Vincent. Ethnicity: "African American."
Vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter. Womack Brothers, gospel group member (with siblings), early 1950s; Valentinos (new name for Womack Brothers when group turned to secular music), late 1950s-1960s; songwriter and session guitarist, Memphis, TN, and Muscle Shoals, AL, mid-1960s; solo artist, 1968—; United Artists, performer, 1971-75; Columbia, performer, 1976-78; Arista, performer, 1979-80; Beverly Glen, performer, 1981-84; MCA, performer, 1985—.
Youth Inspirational Award, 1975; named the best male vocalist, best songwriter, and best live performer, Blues & Soul, 1984.
Midnight Mover: The True Story of the Greatest Soul Singer in the World, John Blake (London, England), 2007.
Writer and singer of a number of music albums.
Bobby Womack is an American vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter. Considered a legend by many, Womack got his start in the music industry singing in a gospel music ensemble with his siblings in the early 1950s. With their commercial success, the group switched to secular music before Womack went off on his own in the 1960s. In 1971 he was signed by United Artists and was a major-label artist for several different companies throughout his career, releasing a number of albums and writing songs for himself and others.
In 2007 he published his autobiography, Midnight Mover: The True Story of the Greatest Soul Singer in the World. Womack opens the autobiography with a sensational piece of his life, one of many, that discusses how his wife, the widow of Sam Cooke, whom he married only months after Cooke's death, tried to kill him after catching him sleeping with his new stepdaughter. Womack talks about his childhood upbringing in a musical family and moves on to his professional career, when he performed with some of the biggest names in the industry. Womack also accounts for his substance abuse problems, womanizing, two failed marriages, and deaths in his close family.
A contributor to Kirkus Reviews noted that the story jumps around, adding that "his chronology is frequently garbled," and "facts and names are scrambled." The same critic concluded: "Minus any illuminating self-exploration, Womack's saga is a fitfully colorful but ultimately empty and depressing tale of a misspent musical life."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Schirmer (New York, NY), 2001.
Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 60, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2007.
Contemporary Musicians, Volume 5, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1991.
Womack, Bobby, Midnight Mover: The True Story of the Greatest Soul Singer in the World, John Blake (London, England), 2007.
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2007, review of Midnight Mover.
All Music,http://www.allmusic.com/ (February 21, 2008), Steve Huey, author profile.
Soul Walking,http://www.soulwalking.co.uk/ (February 21, 2008), author profile.