CECIL WOMACK – multi-faceted soul man – died on Friday 1st. February… he was 65.
CECIL was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1947, and as youngsters, encouraged by their father, he and his brothers CURTIS and BOBBY started a gospel group. Then, joined by two more brothers – FRIENDLY and HARRY, they formed THE VALENTINOS and their gospel pedigree brought them to the attention of SAM COOKE who signed them to his SAR label. At SAR their biggest hit was ‘Looking For A Love’ though it was their ‘It’s All Over Now’ that made their name when it was famously covered by THE ROLLING STONES.
COOKE’S killing in the notorious 1964 motel shooting meant the demise of SAR and when BOBBY WOMACK married COOKE’S widow, BARBARA, THE VALENTINOS started to implode though they continued to record – most notably for Chess. Brotherly relations grew stained when BOBBY’S solo career started to accelerate and CECIL’S marriage to MARY WELLS (he’d married the ex-Motown star in 1969) fell apart and the soulstress moved in with CURTIS WOMACK. To complicate matters, CECIL then married SAM COOKE’S daughter LINDA – eventually recording successfully as WOMACK & WOMACK.
WOMACK & WOMACK made six albums together over a decade-long period in the 1980s and 1990s. The duo’s best album was 1988′s ‘Conscience’, which included the no. 3 UK hit (the song never charted in the U.S.) ‘Teardrops’, (recently covered by JOSS STONE).
CECIL and LINDA moved to Africa in the 90s where they continued to work with their seven children as THE HOUSE OF ZEKKARIYAS, releasing the album ‘Sub Conscience’ in 2002.
There are few available details regarding CECIL’S death but both Both BOBBY and CURTIS WOMACK have confirmed his passing and CURTIS has stated that CECIL wanted his ashes spread over a river near where they have been living.