‘The bravest man in the universe’ passes

In this June 22, 2012 file photo, musician Bobby Womack sits with his dogs, a French bull dog named Music, left, and a pug named Wo, posing for a portrait to promote a new album, “The Bravest Man in the Universe,” in Los Angeles.
Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, file

Robert Dwayne (Bobby) Womack was revered as the consummate soul singer. He was inducted to the Rock & Roll hall of Fame. A Grammy-nominated recorder, he sang back-up for Sam Cooke and was also his guitarist. He also was acclaimed for playing the guitar. I was a true fan of his soulful renditions. Whether he sang solo or with Patti LaBelle and others, he held his own as a gospel, blues, r&b and soul champion. That is where he sang from – the soul.

I was privileged to see him in concert on many occasions and looked forward to seeing him again when on June 27 I heard he passed. I was disappointed last year when due to illness he was forced to cancel his date in Central Park. From my archives I retrieved a special moment when he attempted to teach me to play an instrument. Two and a half decades ago, at an apartment of one of the members of the Rollingstones rock band, Womack took one end of his instrument and allowed me to find my way at the top. Needless to say, it was a challenge that proved worthy of this snap-shot but did not improve my musical mettle. Womack’s last album was entitled “The Bravest Man in the Universe.” It was released last year.

Some of his hits include: “If You Think You’re Lonely Now,” “Harry Hippie,” “A Woman’s Gotta Have It,” “Lookin’ For A Love,” “Across 110th St.” “I Can Understand It,” “That’s The Way I feel About Cha” and others. He died June 27 at the age of 70 after suffering with prostate and colon cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and pneumonia.

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