Bobby Whitlock & CoCo Carmel
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About Bobby & CoCo
Photo By: Todd V Wolfson
Steve Cropper on his involvement with Derek & The Dominos:
“I wouldn’t know how to pinpoint it,” Cropper says. “I knew the talent that Bobby had, and the way he sang and played. I had met Eric, and he was the first guy who came to mind. I didn’t know what he was looking for, but I knew Bobby would be right up his alley.”
Bobby Whitlock represents the true southern blues/soul singer.
Born in Memphis, he was the first white artist to be signed to the Stax Hip label at the tender age of 16. Taken under the wings of Steve Cropper and Donald (Duck) Dunn at the time.
Steve Cropper said " I knew that Bobby was a star".
Stax and Bobby didn't exactly see eye to eye on the direction of his career so, in 1969 he left Stax and went to California to become the first "friend" in the group Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. After sleeping on D&B's couch and playing for a couple of years in small clubs around Los Angeles, the band got a break that happened through Alan Parisar, Delaney & Bonnie's manager, they were to open for Blind Faith in Europe.
The English musicians short of any Soul and groove naturally loved D&B, Eric was the first to join them onstage.
Not long after Eric joined the European Tour.
For a short three month stint in Europe, the guitar line up consisted of Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Dave Mason. It was during this time that Bobby became friends with Eric Clapton.
Bobby was the last to leave Delaney & Bonnie & Friends.
It was that moment when he turned to his friend Steve Cropper and asked what he should do. Steve Cropper told him to call Eric Clapton. He bought a plane ticket and had it waiting for Bobby. Bobby flew to England, joined Eric Clapton, they immediately began to write together, becoming a formidable writing team and eventually recording Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs which is now celebrating its 45th year Anniversary, and is considered to be one of the most influential records in the history of rock-n-roll..The rest is of course music history. * * * * * * * * *
Around 1978, a teenager herself, CoCo had begun her career in London England. She took to the road and played across Europe including Germany, Italy and France and back home in England.
After nearly a decade in Europe, CoCo relocated back to the United States residing in her home state of California, Los Angeles to be precise. In 1988 She met Delaney Bramlett whom she also married.
During those 13 years with Delaney, she produced and co/produced many records including her own solo record “First Fruit” which was released in 2010, featuring many songs written by the two.
Through the lifelong friendship with Delaney, Bobby met CoCo in 1994. After her marriage dissolved with Delaney (2001) the two ended up together. It was only natural to write and sing and record and perform together.
Beginning in the U.S., CoCo and Bobby played in New Jersey, New York, Alabama and Nashville, and performed on countless radio shows, including a one hour live show on Sirius during the 5p.m. rush hour not long after the twin towers were destroyed and NYC was in a code orange alert.
They toured various places around the world including Monaco, Geneva Switzerland, France and to Bangalore India to headline a Jazz & Blues Festival. While in India, they had a beautiful Hindu wedding which was heavily covered by the press and The India Times. *************************************
Through the years CoCo produced record after record (9) the last entitled “Carnival”. A live record recorded in Austin Texas. * * * * * * * * * * *
In 2011 Bobby’s autobiography, “Bobby Whitlock A Rock-n-Roll Autobiography” with a forward written by Eric Clapton along with musical historian and Editor Marc Roberty was released and has been a number one top rated book in rock music.
Available on Amazon and special order through any bookstore.
His book is considered to be of historical significance in rock and roll and can be found in a host of Libaries across the country, and in many Universities as a reference book. It is also used in many colleges across the country for lectures and teaching.
With Bobby’s incredible historical background, it is no wonder the past is constantly calling. In 2013 Light in The Attic re-released the newly mastered solo records of Bobby’s appropriately titled “Where There’s a Will There’s a Way”. It has been receiving great reviews worldwide and is available online and at some retail stores.
Available this year DVD/Blu Ray Documentary “The Road to Austin”featuring Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Stephen Bruton, Bobby Whitlock and CoCo Carmel.
Performing “Layla” and “Why Does Love Got to be so Sad". The DVD is available online and some outlets in Texas.
Out now also is the Movie/Documentary
"Life in 12 Bars" with lots of Bobby talking about the early days of Derek & The Dominos.