Sunny (Bobby Hebb song)

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"Sunny"
Sunny - bobby hebb single.jpg
Single by Bobby Hebb
from the album Sunny
B-side "Bread"
Released June 1966
Recorded Bell Sound Studios, New York City
Genre Soul
Length 2:44
Label Philips
Songwriter(s) Bobby Hebb
Producer(s) Jerry Ross
Bobby Hebb singles chronology
"Sunny"
(1966)
"A Satisfied Mind"
(1966)

"Sunny"
(1966)
"A Satisfied Mind"
(1966)

"Sunny" is a song written by Bobby Hebb, from 1966. It is one of the most performed and recorded popular songs, with hundreds of versions released. BMI rates "Sunny" number 25 in its "Top 100 songs of the century".[1] The song is also known by its first line: "Sunny, yesterday my life was filled with rain".[2]

Background and writing[edit]

Hebb's parents, William and Ovalla Hebb, were both blind musicians. Hebb and his older brother Harold performed as a song-and-dance duo in Nashville, beginning when Bobby was three and Harold was nine. Hebb performed on a TV show hosted by country music record producer Owen Bradley.

Hebb wrote the song in the 48 hours following a double tragedy on November 22, 1963, the day U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. and Hebb's older brother Harold was also stabbed to death outside a Nashville nightclub. Hebb was devastated by both events and many critics say that those events, and critically the loss of his older brother, inspired the lyrics and tune. According to Hebb, he merely wrote the song as an expression of a preference for a "sunny" disposition over a "lousy" disposition following the murder of his brother.[3]

Events influenced Hebb's songwriting, but his melody, crossing over into R&B (#3 on U.S. R&B chart) and Pop (#2 on U.S. Pop chart), together with the optimistic lyrics, came from the artist's desire to express that one should always "look at the bright side"; a direct quote from the author. Hebb has said about "Sunny": "All my intentions were to think of happier times and pay tribute to my brother – basically looking for a brighter day – because times were at a low. After I wrote it, I thought 'Sunny' just might be a different approach to what Johnny Bragg was talking about in 'Just Walkin' in the Rain.'"

Mieko Hirota version[edit]

"Sunny" was first recorded by Mieko "Miko" Hirota – the "Connie Francis of Japan" and Billy Taylor trio (feat. Ben Tucker and Grady Tate) on the Columbia records release "Miko in New York" (1965) recorded in New York. It was also released on audio album Hit Kit Miko, Vol. 2 (October 20, 1965).

Dave Pike version[edit]

In America it was released by marimbaphonist Dave Pike on Atlantic Records in 1966 on the Jazz for the Jet Set album, well before Philips released Hebb's 45 version produced by Ross and arranged by Joe Renzetti. This information was made public – as well as sounds from the first two versions of "Sunny" – on the BBC's Songlines program in early 2006.

Bobby Hebb version[edit]

The personnel on the Bobby Hebb recording included Joe Shepley, Burt Collins on trumpet, Micky Gravine on trombone, Artie Kaplan and Joe Grimaldi on sax, Artie Butler on piano, Joe Renzetti and Al Gorgoni on guitar, Paul (PB) Brown and Joe Macho on bass, Al Rogers on drums and George Devens on percussion. The song was originally recorded while the session was in overtime, so many of the studio musicians booked for that date had to leave early for other recording sessions they were booked for. Joe Renzetti was the arranger.

"Sunny" was originally part of an 18-song demo recorded by producer Jerry Ross, also famous for Spanky and Our Gang, Keith's "98.6" and Jay & the Techniques (Hebb was the first artist to cover "Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie", but didn't want to be considered a novelty act and let the song go to Jay Proctor).

"Sunny" was recorded at Bell Sound Studios in New York City and released as a single in 1966. It met an immediate success, which resulted in Hebb touring in 1966 with The Beatles. The song peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in late August 1966.

Cher version[edit]

Cher recorded the song for her third solo album Chér released in 1966. The song is considered to be a tribute to her then husband, Sonny Bono. It was released as a single in Europe and Asia, and it achieved success in numerous countries.[citation needed]

Sunny '76[edit]

"Sunny '76"
Sunny - bobby hebb single 2.jpg
Single by Bobby Hebb
B-side "Proud Soul Heritage"
Released 1975
Format 7" single
Genre Disco
Length 3:31
Label Polydor
Songwriter(s) Bobby Hebb
Producer(s) Joe Renzetti & Marty Sheriden

"Sunny '76" is a disco version of Bobby Hebb's song. Like the original 1966 version, it features Hebb. However, the song was updated with a disco beat so that the music would be played in disco rooms around the world. This version was also arranged by Joe Renzetti, who arranged the original record.

The 7" single was released in late 1975 (although it's entitled '76). The b-side featured another Hebb's song called "Proud Soul Heritage".

Boney M. version[edit]

"Sunny"
Sunny - boney m single.jpg
Single by Boney M.
from the album Take the Heat off Me
Released November 22, 1976
Format 7" single
Genre Euro disco
Length 4:01
Label Hansa Records (FRG)
Atlantic Records (UK)
Atco Records (U.S.)
Songwriter(s) Bobby Hebb
Producer(s) Frank Farian
Boney M. singles chronology
"Daddy Cool"
(1976)
"Sunny"
(1976)
"Ma Baker"
(1977)

"Daddy Cool"
(1976)
"Sunny"
(1976)
"Ma Baker"
(1977)
Music video
"Sunny" (TopPop, 1977) on YouTube

It was recorded by German euro disco group Boney M., produced by Frank Farian and arranged by Stefan Klinkhammer in a euro disco arrangement. It was taken from their 1976 debut album Take the Heat off Me, following their breakthrough single "Daddy Cool" and was another major hit single that topped the German charts. It has been remixed in 1988, 1999 (it was a minor hit single early 2000) and 2015 and was sampled by Boogie Pimps for their 2004 version. While Liz Mitchell sang the original lead vocals on Boney M.'s version, original member Maizie Williams recorded a solo version in 2006. Boney M's version has become the most popular and entered the TOP 10 in many countries,[15] incl. UK,[16] France [17] and others.

The song is featured in the films Pixote (1980), Repentance (1987), Boogie Nights (1997), Family Relations (Родня) (1982), Michael (2011), Stephen Chow's Chinese film CJ7 (2008) and the TV Series Ray Donovan (2014 - S2E08)

The single was backed by a non-album track "New York City", a reworked version of Farian artist Gilla's 1976 hit single "Tu es!" / "Why Don't You Do It" with an intro borrowed from the album track "Help Help", issued only in some territories instead of "Baby Do You Wanna Bump".

In 2011, the box office hit South Korean film Sunny took its name from the song itself and it was used in some scenes. The song went to number one in the national single chart of South Korea.

Other uses[edit]

Hebb's version appears in a 2018 TV commercial for Indeed.[18] . A cover version appears in another 2018 ad, this one for Visit Israel.[19] It was also a frequently use intro-song for basketball recruiting mogul, Sonny Vaccaro, when he was a guest on various national and regional radio broadcasts. This song was also being used in a Volkswagen Golf commercial in 2017.

Charts[edit]

Chart Peak
position
Germany Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 3
Austria Singles Chart 1
Norway Singles Chart 4
Switzerland Singles Chart 2
Netherlands Singles Chart 1
Belgium Singles Chart 1
Sweden Singles Chart 11
New Zealand Singles Chart 17
South Korea Singles Chart 1
Japan Singles Chart 41
Ireland Singles Chart 4
France Singles Chart 1

2000 remix[edit]

"Sunny (Remix)"
Sunny boney m single 3.jpg
Single by Boney M.
from the album 20th Century Hits
Released February 7, 2000
Format CD single, 12" single
Genre Pop, Europop, Euro disco
Label BMG Records (FRG)
Songwriter(s) Bobby Hebb
Producer(s) Frank Farian
Boney M. singles chronology
"Hooray! Hooray! (Caribbean Night Fever)"
(1999)
"Sunny (Remix)"
(2000)
"Daddy Cool (Remix)"
(2001)

"Hooray! Hooray! (Caribbean Night Fever)"
(1999)
"Sunny (Remix)"
(2000)
"Daddy Cool (Remix)"
(2001)

The final single from Boney M.'s remix album 20th Century Hits which peaked at #80 in the Swiss charts. The CD single was released with 8 mixes. A "London Mix" was released on the promotional double-12" single.

Mousse T. remix[edit]

"Sunny (Mousse T. Remix)"
Sunny - boney m single 2.jpg
Single by Boney M.
from the album The Magic of Boney M.
Released November 2006
Format Digital download
Genre Pop, Europop, Euro disco
Producer(s) Frank Farian
Boney M. singles chronology
"Daddy Cool (Remix)"
(2001)
"Sunny (Mousse T. Remix)"
(2006)

"Daddy Cool (Remix)"
(2001)
"Sunny (Mousse T. Remixes)"
(2000)

A download-only single from the group's 2006 compilation The Magic of Boney M.

  1. "Sunny" (Mousse T. Radio Mix) - 3:21
  2. "Sunny" (Mousse T. Sexy Disco Radio Mix) - 3:27
  3. "Sunny" (Mousse T. Extended Radio Mix) - 4:17
  4. "Sunny" (Mousse T. Sexy Disco Club Mix) - 5:48

Other recordings[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BMI's Top 100 Songs Of The Century". Archer2000.net. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  2. ^ "Bobby Hebb - Sunny lyrics". Songfacts.com. May 2018. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  3. ^ Maddox, David. "One So True | Stories". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  4. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1966-09-05. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  5. ^ "The Hits of Cher: The Danish Hits of Cher". Cherhits.blogspot.dk. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  6. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Flavourofnz.co.nz. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Norway's Best-Sellers" (PDF). Cash Box Magazine. October 29, 1966. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  8. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  9. ^ "CHER | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  10. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  11. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 8/27/66". Tropicalglen.com. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  12. ^ Dutch Singles Chart (1966). "Dutch Singles Chart; End of year charts". Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  13. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1966/Top 100 Songs of 1966". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1966". Tropicalglen.com. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  15. ^ Steffen Hung. "Boney M. - Sunny". Swisscharts.com. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  16. ^ "BONEY M | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  17. ^ "InfoDisc : Tout les Titres N° 1 des 70's". Infodisc.fr. Archived from the original on 2014-03-30. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  18. ^ "Indeed TV Commercial, 'Job Search' Song by Bobby Hebb". ispot.tv. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  19. ^ "Visit Israel TV Commercial, 'Sunny'". Ispot.tv. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  20. ^ "Dečak Taj" at Discogs
  21. ^ Checkmates, Ltd., Live! At Caesar's Palace Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  22. ^ Steffen Hung. "Christophe Willem - Sunny". Lescharts.com. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  23. ^ "Release "1st Round" by Pino Presti Sound - MusicBrainz". Musicbrainz.org. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  24. ^ Huggins, Sarah (September 9, 2014). "'Ray Donovan' Season 2: Listen to 'Sunny' cover by Kerris Dorsey and Octavius Johnson". Zap2it. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  25. ^ "Jessica Jones - S2E12 "AKA Pray for my Patsy" Music and List of Songs". What-song. Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  26. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXorQnyuxsw

External links[edit]