I missed the sad news that Bobby Hebb had died of lung cancer last week.
Hebb is responsible for one of my favourite soul songs, Sunny, although I prefer the Marvin Gaye version of the tune, the Hebb version is nearly as good. Marvin isn’t the only person to cover the song, loads of people from Dusty Springfield to Boney M have tried but few none of the other versions I have heard can come close to either the Hebb or Gaye renditions.
There is an apocryphal story that the song was written by Hebb after finding out that his brother had been stabbed to death on 23rd November 1963, the day after John F Kennedy’s assassination, as a way of thinking of happier times. Whether there is any truth in the story I know not but the song certainly brings smile to my face and lifts my mood whenever I hear it.
Although Hebb wrote and performed many more songs, it will be primarily for Sunny that he will be remembered, a song that the BMI charted at number 25 in it’s songs of the century, not a bad epitaph.
Bobby Hebb – Sunny