The Valentino's comprised of:
Bobby Womack (b. 4th March 1944, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.)
Friendly Womack Jnr. (b. 1941, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.)
Harris 'Harry' Womack (b. 25th June 1945, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A. d. 9th March 1974, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.)
Curtis Womack (b. 1944, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.)
Cecil D. Womack (b. 25th September 1947, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A. d. 1st February 2013, South Africa.)
The Valentinos were a family group from the East 85th & Quincy area in Cleveland, Ohio.
The family were, actually, the brothers Bobby, Cecil, Harris, Curtis and Friendly Womack Jnr, all of whom went on to later success in varying degrees.
The siblings attended the Quincy Elementary, Rawlings Jr. High, and East Technical High School.
All of the siblings were songwriters and, in many cases, handled the production chores on much of their own material.
When Curtis Womack was 10 years old, the group recorded one side for the Pennant label in 1954, under the name of Curtis Womack and The Womack Brothers, entitled 'Buffalo Bill' b/w 'Bible Tells Me So'.
The Valentino's were later discovered by the late Sam Cooke, whilst Sam was still touring and recording with the Soul Stirrers, an association which led to the group signing to his SAR Record label.
The brothers relocated from Ohio to California to record for the label, not only leaving Cleveland behind, but leaving, to some extent, their Gospel roots behind as well, turning to a more secular musical product.
Previously the brothers had sung at pastor Friendly Womack Sr.'s church in Cleveland.
Their original recordings were completed under the name of the Womack Brothers, songs including 'Somebody's Wrong' and 'Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray' in 1961 and 1962 respectively.
Many of the groups releases later became hits for major Rock and R&B artists, including 'It's All Over Now' (The Rolling Stones), 'Looking For A Love' (The J Geils Band), 'I Found A True Love' (Wilson Pickett) ,'Everybody Wants To Fall In Love' (Solomon Burke) and 'I Can Understand It' (New Birth).
When the label folded, following the death of Sam Cooke, the Valentino's relocated to the Chess Records imprint.
Whilst at SAR, 'Looking For A Love' b/w 'Somewhere There's A Girl' became a Top 10 R&B hit in 1962, reaching number 8 (and number 72 on the Pop chart).
it's all over now - 1964 / bitter dreams - 1964
The success of the song, led to the group landing a national tour with James Brown.
'Looking' was followed by the releases 'I've Got A Girl', 'Tired Of Living In The Country', 'Baby Lots Of Luck', 'I've Got Love For You' and 'Bitter Dreams', between 1962 and 1964.
The group also recorded one side for the Checker imprint in 1965, entitled 'I Found A True Love'.
At this point in time Curtis Womack was the group's lead singer, however, Bobby was later to become the main vocalist at the request of Sam Cooke, who liked his delivery.
'It's All Over Now' made the top 100 Pop charts, (a song penned by Bobby and his sister-in-law, Shirley Womack), and was later to reach greater chart positionings after being covered by the Rolling Stones.
'It's All Over Now' is often considered to be a Stones original, however, the Valentino's were the first group to record (and write) the song.
tired of living in the country - 1964 / sweeter than the day before - 1966
At Chess, the group recorded 'Do It Right', b/w 'What About Me' and 'Let's Get Together' b/w 'Sweeter Than The Day Before'.
what about me - 1966 / tired of being nobody - 1968
The Valentino's relocated to Jubillee Records in 1968, recording 'Tired Of Being Nobody' and 'Two Lovers History', before moving on to the Clean imprint in 1973.
double barrelled soul - 1968
The UK label Soul City Records, released an album (in mono) entitled 'Double Barrelled Soul', which featured the Valentino's on one side, and the Simms Twins on the flip, in 1968.
Harris Womack was later to become the inspiration for the Bobby Womack song 'Harry Hippie'.
Harry Womack was later tragically killed by his girlfriend during a dispute in 1974.
In March that year, his girlfriend of five years, stabbed him to death over another woman's garments, which turned out to bea garment from one of Bobby's girlfriends at the time.
During the early Seventies, The Valentinos appeared on Soul Train in 1973.
They also recorded for the independent label, Jubilee Records.
Cecil Womack (once married to Mary Wells, with whom he had 3 children) co-wrote the Valentinos hit 'Sweeter Than The Day Before"' in 1977.
Womack and Womack released a successful album, 'Love Wars', and released albums up until 1993.
Bobby Womack became a major Soul artist, a session guitarist, producer, and songwriter.In early 2009, Bobby was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Cecil Womack passed away in South Africa in 2013.
The Valentinos have become huge favourites on the U.K. Northern Soul Scene.
Double Barrelled Soul (twinned with the Simms Twins) (Soul City Records 1968)
Bobby Womack And The Valentino's (MCA Records 1984)
Do It Right (Official Guide Book Records 2009)