Battle of the Bands

Sunny with a touch of soul #BoTB showdown

Normally, I do not post on Sunday Kittens & Dawgs but it’s mid-January and this means it’s time for another Battle of the Bands showdown.  Recently, Tom reminded me of an oldie I had forgotten but apparently I have an emotional attachment to.  Perhaps something good happened to me the first time I heard it or maybe I just like it because of the poetic lyrics.

Thank you for the sunshine bouquet
Thank you for the love you brought my way
You gave to me your all and all
And now I feel ten feet tall
Sunny one so true, I love you

Whatever the reason, today, I’m featuring Bobby Hebb’s original Sunny with a touch of soul.

Sunny is one of the most performed and recorded songs with more than two hundred versions.  In August 1966, Sunny peaked the Billboard Hot 100 charts at #2.

Did you know Hebb wrote the lyrics to Sunny following two major tragedies? JFK’s assissination and the stabbing death of his older brother. According to Hebb,  he chose to have a sunny disposition over the lousy one he felt in the wake of the devastation over his brother’s death.  One that many of us can learn from and aspire toward when faced with loss, pain, or general problems.

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.'”

Voting is open to everyone visiting. There is NO wrong vote, except if you DON’T vote. You can start by telling me in comments which artist you like best and why (optional).

Contender #1 Stevie Wonder


Contender #2 Marva Whitney & James Brown

Which artist gets your vote, Stevie Wonder or Whitney & Brown?

The fun continues with more epic battles underway and I invite you to visit the official manager of BoTB, Stephen for the update list of players.  I’ll share the results of this battle in my January 23rd Monday’s Mewsic Moves Me post and if you like mewsic then I invite you to hit the dance floor with me tomorrow with the 4M crew.

This is Curious as a Cathy signing off an instrumental take on this oldie classic for your enjoyment only. 😉


Until then have a songtastic day!








I born and raised in the Appalachian mountains of southern WV. I was a child bride when I married my high school sweetheart in 1979. We moved to Knoxville, TN to begin our life. Determined to prove nay-Sayers from our community wrong, I completed my education and went on to earn an A.S. in computer programming. From 1983-1987, I worked as a computer system’s manager. That’s a glorified title for someone who trouble shoots and maintains system back-ups. After the birth of our first child in 1988, I took early retirement. What have I been doing for the last 25+ years? I am proud to say, I am a SAHM and for most of those years I home-schooled our three children from K-12. Now, the nest is empty.


  • greyzoned/angelsbark

    Cathy, I so love this song! Brings back memories big time. I enjoyed Marva Whitney and James Brown’s duet but I think the Stevie Wonder version is more appealing to me so Stevie gets my vote. I just like a single male vocal for this song.

    Thanks for the backstory on the song too. That was definitely interesting. Excellent battle. Thanks for bringing back the sweet memories for me. 🙂

    Have a great week!

    Michele at Angels Bark

  • Birgit

    Stevie Wonder gets my vote because his voice is clean and I liked the musical styling better athan the other one. I didn’t care for the voices in the second one.

  • John Holton

    When I listened to Stevie’s version, I said, “If he plays harmonica in this, he’ll get my vote.” And he did, so he’s getting my vote. Plus, Bobby Hebb’s original is one of my favorites and is nearly perfect as is, and Stevie’s version is right there with it. I didn’t care for the second version.

    • Cathy Kennedy

      John, it comes as no surprise that you’re giving Stevie your vote. Nearly everyone else has! But, Stevie’s harmonica playing does add a little extra value to his cover. The count is now 7 to 1. Thanks for making it over! 😉

  • D-FensDogG

    CATHY ~
    This is a song I have on my “TO BOTB SOMEDAY” list. But I have it down with two different artists, so I will likely still get to it at some point.

    I agree with Lee’s assessment that this is an IDEAL type of song for Stevie and it’s no wonder Wonder is running away with it. He gets my vote, too. His cover against the original by Bobby Hebb might have really challenged me for my vote. In fact, I think I would have voted for Stevie over Bobby (hard to believe). But Wonder against Brown and Whitney? No contest.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Check out my new blog @
    (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews…

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Stephen, That’s cool you have this song in your future line up. It’ll be interesting to see who you throw together. I had no clue when I paired these artists together that it would be this off-balanced with the votes but everyone is picking Stevie Wonder. I may like his cover slightly better but it just depends on my mood. Who knows what I’ll do when I actually cast my vote, though. Thanks for voting. The count now stands at 6 to 1. Stevie is grandstanding this round!

  • Robin

    This one was easy for me. Stevie Wonder all the way. My mom was listening and she wholeheartedly agreed. When the second one was about a minute in she declared it “awful.” I’m not sure I’d go that far, but it wasna good either.

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Robin, Mom is entitled to her opinion. lol I think it’s interesting how covers are perceived by others. You and your mom weren’t thrilled with the duet and apparently everyone voting isn’t compelled by their version, either. I liked their cover but I’m still undecided. I have you down for Stevie and the new tally is now 4 to 1. Thanks for voting. I’m heading your way next! 😉

  • Thomas Anderson

    Hi, Cathy!

    Happy Sunday to you,dear friend! Thank you very much for the shout out. It makes me happy to know that something I posted inspired you to this extent. It’s quite a coincidence because I woke up this morning with a similar type of song running through my head, “Hallelujah Anyway” by soul/disco – turned gospel singer Candi Staton. It is the song I used in my “Proverbs 31 Woman” post in November, the day after the presidential election. Like “Sunny,” it is a song that reminds us there is a constructive, resourceful way to deal with loss, disappointment and adversity:

    You have some problems,
    You need got to solve hem.
    You get down on your knees and pray
    When is he coming through,
    When will he answer you.
    Well it may mot be right away.
    But in the mean time,
    Just keep your mind,
    In a positive attitude.
    And while you waiting,
    Start praising,
    He is gonna see you through,
    Here is what you got to do.
    (Praise him till your blessings come down
    Praise him till your situation turns around
    You gotta lift up your voice and say: hallelujah anyway! Hallelujah anyway.

    Bobby Hebb’s signature song “Sunny” was a big hit at my Shady Dell. Stevie Wonder and James Brown were also heavy hitters at the Dell, but I never heard their covers of “Sunny” before today. Only one of them works for me, the first one by Stevie, because the arrangement is closer to the original and Stevie renders the song in the same smooth, soulful, reverent manner. I didn’t like the jazzed up version by James and Marva as much, and gravel voiced James changed lyrics here and there, either by accident or intentionally, and that didn’t please my ears.

    I vote for Stevie Wonder in this one, dear friend Cathy, and thank you!

    • Cathy Kennedy


      The weekends are not a very good time for me usually when it comes to being on the internet. In fact, I’m rethinking about doing any posts on the weekend again now that DH is working again. I’d rather have this time free to spend with him, as I’m sure most understand. That’s why I’m just now getting around to responding to everyone who came by yesterday such as you to vote which BTW I do appreciate very much. You’re welcome for the shout out. I try to give credit where credit is due. Hallelujah Anyway I wasn’t familiar with so I hopped over to YouTube to look for Candi’s video. I like the disco flavor of this worship/praise song. The lyrics speak the truth and there is nothing like getting to your knees to pray but ultimately having the right attitude will see you through life’s upsets. Thanks for voting in this battle. I have you down for Stevie bringing the total 3 to 1. At least this battle won’t be a shutout but it’s gonna be awfully lopsided I’m afraid. ?

  • Mary B

    I love that you almost always bring us a song that I either have not heard in a long time, or have not heard before at all. My vote goes to Stevie Wonder. I just feel that this one is better suited for one voice, rather than a duet. Great battle!

    Jingle Jangle Jungle

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Mary, My song choices are usually inspired by someone else and I try to give credit when I think of it. I’m glad you enjoyed listening to this long lost song from your past. I have you down for Stevie which makes it 2 to 1 in Stevie’s favor. I’m hopping over to see you now! 😉

  • Debbie D.

    Happy Sunday to you, Cathy. 🙂 Thanks for telling us the bittersweet history behind the song. I remember Stevie’s version but hadn’t heard the other before, The mellow, jazzy arrangement and vocals combined are excellent! Please give my vote to Marva Whitney and James Brown. That instrumental had the old toes tapping. This was a fun battle.

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Debbie, The history behind Hebb’s song is sad but I love how he chose to look at these tragedies. The jazzy piano rendition by the duet Brown/Whitney is excellent. I like how they slowed the tempo at the beginning of the song before switching it up. I definitely see why you like it as I do, too. However, I haven’t decided yet which cover gets my vote. I have your vote recorded for Brown/Whitney giving them their first vote, making the tally 1 to 1. I’ll be over soon to check out your battle!

  • Arlee Bird

    A great song that brings back good memories for me. The song hit the charts shortly after my family moved to East Tennessee. I remember hearing it played often on WNOX when that station still played Top Ten.

    Never heard the version by Stevie, but it fits him perfectly. What a great sound he gives the song. Likewise never heard the other version either and it’s another nice one–such deep feeling to it and a cool upbeat transition in the end. The jazzy sound is nice.

    But I’m going to go with the version by Stevie Wonder as I think he gives it the verve that it deserves. But it really is a tough choice that could go either way for me.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Lee, I’m glad to know that your vote could’ve gone either way. Stevie does a fabulous job but the Brown/Whitney duet is nice. I love how Stevie incorporates his signature harmonica sound in his cover and the horn backing is pretty awesome, too! I have you down for Stevie Wonder. Stevie 1, the duet 0. Thanks for voting, my friend!

💕I love comments! Have a purrfect day & thanks for stopping by!💕