Bobby Womack, RIP

One of my favorite soul singers, Bobby Womack, has died at age 70. I wrote a bit about him in this old piece for The University Bookman, so if you want to see me try to put his work into a cultural context you should look at that. If you'd rather just listen to the music—or if you want a soundtrack while you read—here's the Womack track that modern audiences are most likely to recognize, since Quentin Tarantino stuck it at the beginning of a movie:

That's "Across 110th Street," one of the best songs ever recorded for a blaxploitation soundtrack; Tarantino showed good taste when he recycled it. And here, less well-known, is an item from the other end of the funk/twang spectrum: a duet with his dad on "Tarnished Rings," from Womack's criminally underappreciated stab at a country record, B.W. Goes C&W:

The All Music Guide gives that album just one star. What the hell are you guys thinking?

Womack's life was decadent even by pop-star standards, with plenty of sex, drugs, violence, and scandal. Amid all that, he managed to make some tremendously good music. He reportedly recorded one more CD before he died, and I can't wait to hear it.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    WTF is going on w/ the front page of hit and run?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    At least they're creative enough to keep creating new kinds of problems rather than sticking exclusively to the old kinds.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Is this some sort of hacking attack or are they just incompetent?

  • Dweebston||

    Definitely. Malware all over the blog. I'd avoid clicking anything if at all possible.


    Womack does James Taylor and kicks his ass

  • ||

    Very good.


    James Taylor (and Van Morrison) possess a such a unique sound I don't think they can get their asses kicked.

  • ||

    drop the 'a'.


    Pppt. James Taylor is a pushover. He's all arms and legs. You sweep the leg, then kick him in the neck.

    The Van, however, is a wild animal. He's so drunk most of the time you can't knock him over with a 2x4, yet he'll eventually fall down on his own if you just circle him warily and attempt to confuse him.

  • ||

    He was wasted (at least I think he was) when we saw him Toronto, what, maybe 20 years? Disappointing. Probably the worst concert I've ever been to. No atmosphere, played his jazz stuff and just plain bad.

    Luckily some chicks in front of us were kind enough to pass the doob around.

    Still. Great music.

    What's physicality got to do with it anyway?

  • Sevo||

    For some reason, the two screens above aren't operating, so I did a check of youtube BW cuts. Every bit of OK.

  • Gene||

  • ||

    At least Lou Reed is still with us.

  • Tommy_Grand||



Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.