2013 - bobby womack - across 110th street bbc4
Womack's musical career has been an almost
unprecedented rollercoaster ride.
Starting off on the streets of segregated America, Womack
launched himself into what became an epic adventure. In the
1950s as a youngster he was travelling the gospel highway
with the Womack Brothers. By the 1960s, he was being mentored
by Sam Cooke who schooled him in the ways of R&B, while
James Brown also drilled him into shape. Soon, the Rolling
Stones and Wilson Pickett were queuing up to record his songs.
In the early 1970s, not long after Janis Joplin covered one
of his compositions, Bobby was with her just hours before
she died. He played rhythm guitar on Sly & the Family Stone's
Family Affair before becoming a major soul star in his own
right with hits like Across 110th Street, Woman's Gotta Have
It and Harry Hippie.
In the second half of the 1970s, his disastrous country and western album, as well as disco mania, savaged his career. But Bobby rose again in the 1980s with his famed 'Poet' trilogy of albums. Then, after semi-retirement and a stint with the Gorillaz, he recorded 2012's The Bravest Man in the Universe album with Damon Albarn. It was the start of a magnificent Indian summer for one of soul music's greatest artists.
With incredible access to Bobby Womack himself, plus contributions from Ronnie Wood, Damon Albarn, Bill Withers, Chuck D, Antonio Fargas, as well as close family and friends, this film brings one of the most diverse and fascinating post-war musical careers vividly to life.