Sunday, 14 March 2010
The other week Andrew Collins wrote on his blog that he shared his birthday with Bobby Womack. He illustrated the post with the magnificent portrait above. I first saw that photo on the cover of a compilation on the Trikont label called Dirty Laundry - the Soul of Black Country. It's a brilliant record that features the likes of Solomon Burke, Bettye Lavette and Etta James delivering soul and R&B takes on country classics. All of them prove that there's a whole lot more to African-American associations with country music than Charley Pride.
Bobby Womack's featured track is a cover of Eddy Arnold's 1948 hit Bouquet of Roses.
MP3: Bobby Womack - Bouquet of Roses
Buy Dirty Laundry: Amazon
MP3: Eddy Arnold - Bouquet of Roses
Buy Eddy Arnold RCA Country Legends: 7digital | Amazon
Dirty Laundry's extensive liner notes quote Womack: "Country & Western is my roots, it's deeply rooted in all my song and lyrics. My people came from the hills of Virginia and played it a lot."
Bobby's version of Bouquet of Roses originally appeared on his 1976 flop BW Goes C&W, an album that would have no doubt sold even fewer copies if Womack had got his way and called it Step Aside Charley Pride, Give Another Nigger A Try! It was such a commercial disaster that United Artists, the label where he'd enjoyed most success, dumped him. (There are more juicy quotes from Bobby about the record on this old website).
If you've suggestions of other great country covers do please leave a comment below. I have some corkers up my sleeve that I'll also be sharing here soon.
Bobby Womack - official site