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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mis-remembering Bobby Womack

It's good that BBC TV News acknowledge the deaths of artists like Bobby Womack but I'm increasingly irritated by the way they feel they have to misrepresent history in order to justify doing it.

He had hits with "It's All Over Now" and "Across 110th Street", they said. Well, of course, it's the Rolling Stones who had the hit with the first song and when "Across 110th Street" came out in 1972 it got to number 19 in the black singles chart in the USA, which even in those days was hardly a smash. It was only in 1997 when Quentin Tarantino put it on the soundtrack of Jackie Brown that it came to wider attention, or at least to the attention of those people who end up putting together news bulletins in 2014.

The bulletin went on to say that he'd played Glastonbury a while back in front of an audience including everyone from small children to grandparents. The implication was that Bobby had drawn all those people there, which I don't think he would have claimed. Then there was a brief interview with an old bloke in this year's crowd who remembered seeing him and said he liked him because he was, well, old.

I suppose people like Womack are a problem for the news machine. Not obscure enough to be regarded as underrated (indeed he was always being talked up by people like Keith Richards) and not famous enough to able to depend on the people at home having actually heard of him.