On Sunday, May 21, 2017, Howard Curtis Womack (age 74) passed away at Bluefield Regional Medical Center due to respiratory heart failure.
Howard Curtis Womack was the second oldest of five brothers born to the late Naomi and Friendly Womack, Sr. Curtis and his brothers started singing in church at a very early age. He was just 10 years old when they cut a single under the name of Curtis Womack and The Womack Brothers, titled "Buffalo Bill". The Womack Brothers were eventually discovered by the late, great Sam Cooke and signed to SAR Records as his protégés. After a transition to secular music and a name-change to The Valentinos, Curtis continued to switch leads with his brother Bobby. Their first hit single, "Lookin' for a Love", a pop rendition of "Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray", peaked at number eight on the R&B charts and number 72 on the Billboard Hot 100, going on to sell two million copies. This hit landed them an opening spot on The Famous Flames' national tour.
Since Curtis' voice first infiltrated the airwaves in March of 1962, the singer/songwriter has been nonchalantly inspiring other artists for many years. In 1993, his talents transcended genre and generation alike when his silky yet powerful vocals were sampled on the most unlikely rap song, "Pimpin" by Tennessee gangster rappers 8 Ball and MJG. His influence is also apparent on the remake of The Womack Sisters' 2017 debut single "Darling" which Curtis wrote in 1963. As part of the class of 2011, Curtis and his brothers Bobby, Harry, Cecil (preceded in death) and Friendly Jr., were inducted into the West Virginia All Black Schools Sports and Academic Hall of Fame.
Curtis was just as much an entertainer off stage. He was known by all as a dynamic story teller, recounting his interesting life experiences in great details and dramatization. He painted vivid pictures of these captivating events as if they'd happened just yesterday. You could not contain your laughter while wondering just how much of his recollections were fact and how much was fiction.
He is survived by his longtime companion, Bernice Carruthers, his children, Curtis, Robin, Kevin, Angel, and Sugar, his brother Friendly Womack, Jr., 13 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, and relatives.
A celebration of Curtis' life will be conducted at 12:00 Noon, Saturday, May 27, 2017 at Seaver Funeral Home in Princeton with Pastor Charles Stores and Pastor Herman Bryant officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Park Cemetery in Princeton. Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.
Friends may call at the funeral home from 11:00 AM until the service hour on Saturday.
Online condolences may be made by visiting www.seaverfuneralservice.com.
Published on May 25, 2017