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Bobby Hebb

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Bobby Hebb (July 26, 1938 – August 3, 2010) was an African American singer and songwriter, best known for his writing and recording of Sunny.

Hebb made his stage debut on his third birthday, July 26, 1941, when tap dancer Hal Hebb introduced his little brother to show business at The Bijou Theater. This was an appearance on The Jerry Jackson Revue of 1942 even though it was 1941, “that was how Jerry, a big man in vaudeville in the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s, did things” noted the singer. Harold Hebb was nine years of age at the time and the young brothers worked quite a few nightclubs before Bobby Hebb entered first grade. Nashville establishments like The Hollywood Palm, Eva Thompson Jones Dance Studio, The Paradise Club, and the basement bar in Prentice Alley as well as the aforementioned Bijou Theater found Bobby and Hal dancing and singing tunes like “Lady B. Good,” “Let’s Do the Boogie Woogie,” “Lay That Pistol Down Babe,” and other titles that were popular at that time. Hebb’s father, William Hebb, played trombone and guitar, his mother, Ovalla Hebb, played piano and guitar, while his grandfather was a chef/cook on the Dixie Flyer, an express train on the L&N — Louisville & Nashville railroad. Brother Harold Hebb would eventually join Excello recording artists the Marigolds, documented in Jay Warner’s biography of singer Johnny Bragg, the book -Just Walkin’ in the Rain; while Bobby Hebb, with so much musical influence and inspiration, would go on to pen hundreds upon hundreds of tunes, among them, BMI’s number 25 most played song on their website in 2000, the classic “Sunny.”

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