While taking an exit off of Route 128 at 3:55 PM today the voice of the late Dennis Youst boomed out as I turned the radio back on, the first words were “Bring back that Sunny day” from the Classics IV hit “Stormy”, a kind of response song to “Sunny” two years later in 1968. The Classics IV also covered the hit written and performed by Bobby Hebb, who passed away a year ago today, August 3, 2010
It is time to bring back that “Sunny” day. Bobby would like that…and the world owes it to him. Checking Google and Bing NEWS on his one year anniversary there’s an article on The Beatles being banned in Ohio by radio station WAKR mentioning that Bobby Hebb appeared on the bill in 1966 when the group played on Aug. 14 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. There’s another article about Paul McCartney performing in Detroit at Comerica Park…mentioning, of course, that Bobby Hebb performed at Olympia Stadium in Detroit in 1966 with The Beatles. Le Journal de Quebec at least mentioned that it was the anniversary of his passing, while the Salem Patch (an AOL regional publication) cited Bobby’s legacy in regards to new bands playing in the region.
Bobby Hebb’s musical genius continues to inspire and influence, though the public (and many musicians) don’t realize that it was his two major hits, “Sunny” and “A Natural Man” that they are borrowing from. It’s just a natural progression of jamming on tunes that filter through the tunnel of time. And the way things are today, on air personalities are no longer d.j.s. They no longer hold a 45 RPM in their hands, they no longer read the songwriter’s name under the title of the composition.
It’s just a year and where are the tributes to this giant? Where are the radio stations playing “Sunny” and remembering Bobby.
I guess it’s up to us to Bring Back That Sunny Day. Bobby’s music will return in a beautiful boxed set we’re working on. We will bring back that “Sunny” Day.
Rest in peace, Bobby. Your work lives on.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.