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Following Cooke's death, SAR Records folded and the remaining Valentinos auditioned for several record labels before Chess Records
picked them up. In 1966, they recorded two singles, "Do It Right" and
"Let's Get Together" but both singles failed to chart and the brothers
were dropped from the label soon after. Following this, the youngest
Valentino, Cecil Womack, was the next brother to leave the group after
he decided to marry former Motown singer Mary Wells. Cecil was only 19 at the time of the marriage, Wells was 23. In 1968, Wells and Cecil helped the brothers get signed to Jubilee Records. Several of the brothers - including Bobby - would contribute to the sessions of Mary Wells' Jubilee album Servin' Up Some Soul,
many of the tracks being Cecil and Mary compositions. That same year,
the remaining trio of Friendly, Jr., Curtis and Harry recorded the
single "Tired of Being Nobody" followed by the Cecil Womack penned "Two
Lovers History" before calling it a day.
Meanwhile, Bobby Womack's career was on a rise again, this time as a
session musician and songwriter. After contributing guitar to recordings
by Aretha Franklin, he gave up some of his compositions to Wilson Pickett, who later took the Womack single, "I'm in Love",
to the top 40 on the pop and soul charts. Several of Womack's other
songs including "I'm a Midnight Mover" would also be recorded by
Pickett. Following this success, Minit Records signed Bobby and released the album Fly Me to the Moon, which featured the singer's first charted hit, a cover of the Mamas & the Papas' "California Dreaming".
Once again being able to have a career after years of struggle
following his marriage to Barbara Cooke, Womack would continue his
session work, working with musicians such as Gábor Szabó, with whom he would write "Breezin'"
with. By 1970, Womack's brothers rejoined him as background vocalists
on his work, starting with the 1970 release of his second solo album, My Prescription.
In 1971, Bobby signed with United Artists Records and released his breakthrough album, Communication, which featured the top ten R&B hit, "That's the Way I Feel About Cha",
to which the rest of his brothers (the Valentinos) contributed
background vocals. The brothers would be featured on several of Womack's
other albums over the years including Understanding, Facts of Life and Lookin' for a Love Again,
the latter album in which the brothers re-recorded "Lookin' for a Love"
in a modern funk setting. The remake later shot up to number one
R&B and number ten pop becoming the biggest hit the brothers ever
sang on, selling over two million copies. Bobby Womack later produced a
version of "I Can Understand It" for the remaining Valentinos, releasing
it on the Clean Records label. The song gave the Valentinos some
traction again on the R&B charts leading to them appearing on Soul Train where Bobby was a frequent guest.
However, this period of success would unfortunately be short lived.
On March 9, 1974, Harry Womack was shot to death by his girlfriend
during a fight while living in Bobby's Los Angeles home. Bobby said
later that he received a phone call from his oldest brother Friendly,
Jr., who told him of what had happened to Harry. Bobby was then doing an
interview for a local radio station while "Lookin' for a Love" was
rising on the charts when he got the call. Bobby said he was shocked by
the news and tried to escape the building of the station, later landing
in a hospital from his fall where he made a full recovery. In response,
Bobby moved his entire family including parents Friendly and Naomi to
California to strengthen a fragile family bond. The Valentinos ceased
recordings after Harry's death settling on background work with brother
Bobby's 2nd solo Album
An estrangement in the family occurred following the 1977 divorce of
Cecil Womack and Mary Wells as it was alleged that a reason for the
divorce (filed by Cecil) was due to Mary Wells carrying on an
extramarital affair with Curtis. Curtis and Mary continued to date and
in 1986, Wells gave birth to Curtis' daughter Sugar. Mary and Cecil had
three children during their marriage including record producer Meech Wells (born Cecil Womack, Jr.). In the late eighties, disenchanted with life in the United States and searching for their African
roots, Cecil and Linda Womack and their children moved to an African
country and changed their name to the Zekkariyas where they continued
recording music. As a songwriting team for Philadelphia International Records, the couple wrote hits for Teddy Pendergrass and Patti LaBelle. Cecil died on February 1, 2013 in Africa. In 2009, Bobby Womack was inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. During the ceremony, he performed his 1972 hit "Across 110th Street",his 1982 hit, "If You Think You're Lonely Now", and the Valentinos' original hit "It's All Over Now", in which Rolling Stone member Ron Wood
backed him.(The Stones made a successful cover version of the song).
Wood inducted Womack to the Hall. Womack's family with the exception of
Cecil Womack was present for the induction ceremony. The family
patriarch and founder of the Womack Brothers, Friendly Womack, Sr., died
of cancer in 1981. Their mother, Naomi, died in December 2011.
Some of the group's recordings are most noted for their covers by artists of various genres. Alongside the Rolling Stones, Solomon Burke and Wilson Pickett
recorded covers of the Valentinos tunes "Everybody Wants to Fall in
Love" and "I Found a True Love", both of which were written solely by
Bobby. In 1971, the J Geils Band covered "Lookin' for a Love" a couple years before the brothers re-recorded it for Bobby's solo release, Lookin' for a Love Again.
Another composition that was first recorded by Bobby as a solo release
and revived by the Valentinos a year later, "I Can Understand It",
became a major hit for the funk band New Birth.
Prior to her later work with Cecil, Linda helped Bobby co-write the hit
"A Woman's Gotta Have It", which also featured Cecil singing background
for his brother. Cecil and Linda's composition, "Love TKO", a major hit for Teddy Pendergrass, has been covered several times.
popular Australia-based rock combo attempted to appropriate the name of
the original Valentinos but had to change their name when faced with
the threat of possible litigation by Bobby and his brothers. This group later changed their name to the Lost Valentinos.
Since then, an a cappella doo-wop group and a Detroit-based rock band have also tried to use the original group's name.
Cecil Womack died on February 1, 2013.] Bobby Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 as a solo artist. He died on June 27, 2014. Curtis Womack died on May 21, 2017.
Bobby's anger cooled after he received his first royalty check for the single following the Stones' release of the single.
Prior to them releasing it, however, word got around that the Rolling Stones wanted to cover it. Despite Bobby's initial protests, the Stones were eventually allowed to release it and their version became their first national hit in the U.S.
Bill G wrote:"Sar and Derby were owned by Sam Cooke,but they were not distributed by
RCA,so they had inferior distribution ,and maybe (in the opinion of many
people) The Stones made the better record"Still trying to start an argument/debate, huh? Still trying to bait me.Since I said I wouldn't make any more comments on any sites other than my own, You took it upon yourself to come over to one of my pages to try to start another verbal altercation. Apparently you forgot the words "inferior distribution".Since most people have never heard The Valentinos' original, only The Rolling Stones' cover, how can it be said that they'd consider The Stones made the better record, when they've never had anything else to compare it to ?Sorry. I'm not going to give you what you want . Try arguing with someone else.
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