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Womack & Womack

Womack & Womack was the singing and songwriting


partnership of American musicians Cecil Womack and
his wife, Linda Womack. The duo were successful as
songwriters for other artists, and had several international
hits as a singing duo in the 1980s and 1990s. Later
recordings, with other members of their family, were
credited to The House of Zekkariyas.

T.K.O., reached the Billboard R&B chart; the next single, Love Wars, reached no.14 on the UK singles chart
in early 1984, and the third single from the album, Baby
I'm Scared Of You, was successful in both the US (no.
25, R&B chart) and the UK (no. 72).[7]:491[8]:856 As with
most of the tracks they recorded together, the songs were
written by the pair. Drawing from their own, convoluted, personal experiences, Cecil and Linda, knowing
each other since childhood, were experts at capturing the
trials, travails and tribulations of love.[1] Their next album, the self-produced Radio M.U.S.C. Man, released in
1986, included songs which Sam Cooke had started to
write and which Cecil and Linda completed, along with a
cover of the Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun". The album
only produced one hit, Strange & Funny, the pairs last
chart entry in the US, and they left Elektra to record for
the Manhattan label.[7] Their only release for the label,
1986s "Starbright," an ill-fated stab at the charts with little of their past sound, was barely released in the U.S., but
produced a single, Soul Love/Soul Man that reached no.
58 in the U.K. Always popular in England, they headlined
at the Royal Albert Hall in 1987.[1]

Background

Cecil Womack was born in 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio, and


performed with his older brothers Bobby (19442014),
Harry (19451974), Friendly and Curtis, as a gospel
group. After meeting Sam Cooke, they changed their
name to The Valentinos and in 1961 began to sing and
record the devils music for secular audiences, to the
horror of their religious father.[1] The Valentinos had a
hit record with "Lookin' for a Love, selling two million copies, later becoming a no. 39 U.S. hit for The J.
Geils Band in 1971.[1] They toured with James Brown and
scored another crossover hit with Its All Over Now, a
song which subsequently reached no. 1 in the UK when
covered by The Rolling Stones in 1964.[2] But the fall-out
from Cookes death he was shot by a motel manager in
Los Angeles in December 1964 and Bobby Womacks
marriage halted their progress.[3]

Their success in the UK and other parts of the world was


rekindled in 1988 with the naggingly catchy[1] single
"Teardrops", taken from their fourth album (and rst for
the Fourth & Broadway label), Conscience. The single
reached no. 3 in the U.K., no. 1 in The Netherlands,
Australia, and New Zealand; and no. 2 in Germany and
Switzerland.[9] Two other album tracks charted in England, Lifes Just A Ballgame (U.K. no. 32) and Celebrate The World (U.K. no. 19).[8] The album itself
went gold in ten countries and platinum in three.[10] An
eleven song DVD, Womack & Womack: Live In Concert was released in 1989, lmed during their Celebrate
The World tour in Australia, America, England, Spain
and France. It was re-released in 2009 by Cherry Red
Films.[11]

In the 1960s, Cecil Womack worked primarily as a songwriter and producer. He rst met Linda, who is Sam
Cookes daughter, born in 1953, when he was thirteen
and she was eight.[4] Although Linda and Cecil were
close, particularly after her fathers death in 1964, he
married singer Mary Wells in 1967 and wrote material
for her, including the hit "The Doctor", released on Jubilee Records. They had three children, and he managed
her career until their break-up in 1977.[4] Linda Cooke
also worked as a songwriter, co-writing Bobby Womacks "Womans Gotta Have It.[5] Bobby Womack was
her stepfather, having married Sam Cookes widow, Barbara. Cecil Womack and Mary Wells divorced in 1977,
and he and Linda married shortly afterwards.[6]

Their next album, 1991s Family Spirit was released on


RCA in the U.S., and BMG/Arista in the rest of the
world. It didn't chart, but the single Uptown was a
club hit. After traveling to Nigeria, they discovered ancestral ties to the Zekkariyas tribe, and adopted African
names. Now recording for Warner Bros. Records, in
1993 they released what was to be their last album of new
2 Performers
material under the name of Womack & Womack, Transformation To The House Of Zekkariyas.[3] It produced
In 1983, Cecil and Linda began performing and record- their last charting single, Secret Star, which reached
ing together as Womack & Womack, and released a suc- no. 46 in the U.K. A compilation, Tear Drops: Greatcessful album, Love Wars produced by Stewart Levine est Hits, was released in 1993 in the U.K. on the Specon Elektra Records. The rst single from the album,
1

REFERENCES

trum/PolyGram label, and re-released on CD in 1998 as album The Other Side.[14]


Greatest Hits.[12] Rather than being career-spanning retrospectives, the compilations contain single/remix versions
taken from the singles o Conscience, and live versions 4 Cecil Womacks death
of Love Wars, John Denver's "Take Me Home Country Roads, Family and Rejoice, taken from the conCecil Womack died February 1, 2013 at the age of 65 in
cert lm. Strange & Funny (The Best Of 1984-1993), an
South Africa.[15]
Australian compilation released on Raven Records, does
a much better job at documenting the career of Womack
& Womack - although all tracks are the album versions.

5 Discography

The Womacks, now using their adopted African name


Zekkariyas, began recording as a family. Zek (Cecil)
and Zeriiya (Linda), along with their children Zeumoja, 5.1 Albums
Zeniya, Zeimani, and Zeapree, Lil Squal, and long-time
1983: Love Wars
backing group Sly, Slick & Wicked, released Sub Conscience aka Subconscience as ZEK in 2001 on their own
1985: Radio M.U.S.C. Man
Z Life Grooves label. ZEK is short for Zekkariyas Enlightenment Kingdom. Basically a re-working of various
1986: Starbright
tracks from throughout their career, a companion remix
1988: Conscience
album, Circular Motion was released in 2004 on their
S.A.R. Starship imprint, not 2007 as erroneously listed in
1991: Family Spirit
many references.[13] The original SAR Records was Sam
Cooke's record label.
1993: Transformation To The House Of Zekkariyas
1997: Timeless (as The House Of Zekkariyas)

Songwriters

2001: Sub Conscience (as ZEK)[12]

2004: Circular Motion (as ZEK / Womack & WomLinda commenced a songwriting career in 1964 at the
ack Project)[16]
age of 11, composing I Need A Woman, and would
also co-write I'm In Love for Wilson Pickett and A
Womans Gotta Have It in 1972 for Bobby Womack. 5.2 Compilations
It was also recorded by James Taylor, along with many
others.[4] Cecil had also written numerous songs, some 1993: Tear Drops (Greatest Hits)[12]
times collaborating with then wife Mary Wells. After be 1998: Greatest Hits (CD version of Tear Drops)[12]
ginning her personal and professional relationship with
Cecil, the pair started their career working as a writ 2004: The Best of 1984-1993: Strange And Funny
ing team for Philadelphia International Records. They
composed tracks for artists such as Teddy Pendergrass,
The Dramatics, The O'Jays (I Just Want To Satisfy)
5.3 Singles
and Patti LaBelle (Love Symphony).[4] Cecils "Love
TKO" (written with Gip Noble, Jr.) was a major hit
for Teddy Pendergrass, and was later recorded by sev- 6 References
eral artists, including Debbie Harry, Hall & Oates, Boz
Scaggs and Michael McDonald.[1] On their own they hit a [1] Pierre Perrone (2013-02-10). Cecil Womack: Half of
the husband-and-wife duo known for their soul hits of the
creative purple patch, composing material that went on to
1980s - Obituaries - News. The Independent. Retrieved
be recorded by George Benson (New Day), Eric Clap2014-06-28.
ton (Lead Me On), Bonnie Raitt (Good Man, Good
Woman) and I Wish I Had Someone To Go Home
[2] Soultracks.com: Womack and Womack biography. ReTo for brother Bobby Womack.. The title track of their
trieved 5 February 2013
rst album, Love Wars, was covered by The Beautiful
South for the 1990 Elektra Records anniversary compila- [3] Biography by William Ruhlmann at Allmusic.com. Retrieved 5 February 2013
tion Rubiyt, and "Teardrops" has been recorded by k.d.
lang, Elton John, Joss Stone and The XX.[4] The Wom[4] Womack & Womack Page. Soulwalking.co.uk. Reacks also wrote and produced for Culture Club and Bryan
trieved 2014-06-28.
Ferry backup vocalist turned solo artist Ruby Turner.
Her album Paradise featured their songs Sexy and See [5] VVN Music, Cecil Womack Dies At Age 65, Noise 11, 4
Me, while they wrote and produced four cuts on her next
February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013

[6] The Independent, How we met: Womack & Womack, 30


January 1994. Retrieved 5 February 2013
[7] Whitburn, Joel (1996). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 19421995. Record Research.
[8] Betts, Graham (2004). Complete UK Hit Singles 19522004 (1st ed.). London: Collins. ISBN 0-00-717931-6.
[9] The Worlds Music Chart: Songs from the year 1988. retrieved 4 February 2013
[10] Liner Notes Womack & Womack: Live In Conceet
DVD
[11] Cherry Red Records.
2014-06-28.

Cherryred.co.uk.

Retrieved

[12] Database and Marketplace for Music on Vinyl, CD, Cassette and More. Discogs. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
[13] Circular Motion at Allmusic.com. Retrieved 3 February
2013
[14] Alex Henderson. The Other Side - Ruby Turner | Songs,
Reviews, Credits, Awards. AllMusic. Retrieved 201406-28.
[15] Passings: Cecil Womack (1947 - 2013) ~ VVN Music.
Vintagevinylnews.com. 2013-02-03. Retrieved 2014-0628.
[16] printed information on the release
[17] Netherlands Top 40
[18] Womack & Womack Discography at Discogs.
Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-06-28.

External links
Womack & Womack Soulwalking Page
Womack & Womack How We Met The Independent U.K.
Cecil Womack Obituary in The Independent U.K.

8 TEXT AND IMAGE SOURCES, CONTRIBUTORS, AND LICENSES

Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses

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