Sunny, Bobby Hebb’s magical composition, his tours with the Beatles, Jimmy Page and the Yardbirds, the evolution of one of the most significant compositions in pop music history.

SUNNY booklet photo Bobby Hebb

“Sunny” electrified audiences in 1966 when Bobby Hebb took the stage before the Beatles from August 12 – August 29, 1966, the song and the performer getting screams from the audience the way Beatles’ songs were treated. That both “Sunny” and Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday” were in the repertoire of this final Beatles’ tour is a remarkable story given the thousands of recorded versions of both titles fifty years after the two great composers met during the whirlwind concert performances..

In 1966 it would have been unfathomable to think that entire books would be written on now-iconic tunes such as “Louie, Louie,” (two of them, one in 1993 by David Marsh – “Louie, Louie – The History and the Mythology of the World’s Most Famous Rock and Roll Song,” and one by a live drummer from the band the Kingsmen, Dick Peterson AuthorHouse (November 4, 2005),) or even a standard as explored in 2003’s Amazing Grace: The Story of America’s Most Beloved Song by Steve Turner, the fellow who tackled every single known Beatles song in a A Hard Day’s Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles’ Song, (updated edition, 2005.)
Think about this for a moment. “Amazing Grace,” according to Wikipedia, “is a Christina Hymn published in 1779, with words written by the English poet and clergyman John Newton.” 187 years later in 1966 an inspirational song from Bobby Hebb was ever-present on the pop, country and rhythm and blues charts, the undercurrent of the song, one of hope for a better day. It resonated – and five decades later there are hundreds of new renditions finding a new home on YouTube, artists from Korea to Serbia to Japan to Russia – spanning the globe – more than a mere echo, the soul-stirring love generated by Bobby Hebb’s masterpiece inspiring dance mix dj’s, artists who love to sample the sunshine spirit, a song like “Stormy” by Dennis Yost and the Classics IV being inspired by “Sunny.” The hook – “bring back that Sunny day!” is majestic, uplifting and a pure tribute to Bobby Hebb as Classics IV also did their own rendition of “Sunny.”

Prior to Bobby’s passing, two gospel versions of “Sunny” were recorded, one by Pat Watson, another by Bobby’s cousin, Pastor Rosetta Swain. Bobby was in the studio during the recording of Swain’s rendition which Pastor Rosetta changed from “Sunny” to “Jesus.”

 

– just part of the 20 pages of Chapter 1 Copyright ©2016 Joe Viglione all rights reserved.

 

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