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Colored People® Network Presents…
The legendary Walter “Bunny” Sigler is a four-time Grammy award winner and nominee who has been a writer, producer or recording artist on over thirty-six million CDs. He has over four decades of multi-gold and platinum recordings both as a recording artist and producer. The twelve original songs on this newest CD “From Bunny With Love” are evidence that Bunny remains a musical and creative powerhouse.
Bunny released on March 1, 2012 a new CD “From Bunny With Love.”
The new radio release single is “Nobody Else For Me.”
The singer was born Walter Sigler in Philadelphia on 27th March 1941. Bunny recalls, “They called me Bunny right off because I was born two days before Easter. The first singing I did was in church – Sunday school. I wouldn’t say it was very funky, just straight. . . ‘Our Father which art in Heaven.’ But then I started going to my mother’s church, that was a Baptist Church, the Emmanuel Baptist. Now THAT was funky. I really dug the way people got down in church. I sang in school, all the kids did, you know the group kinda thing. I would get home at six in the morning and have to get up in a couple of hours and go to school. I had a little group called the Opals, me and my brother and two other guys. One was called Murphy who looked just like Nat Cole. We did quite a few shows, but a couple of times the group didn’t show up so I had to do the show all by myself.
A disc jockey called “Cannonball” heard me and got me to leave the group and sign a contract. I recorded a thing called ‘Come On Home’, a Junior Parker song, for a company called Craig.” “They called me Bunny ‘Mr Emotions’ Sigler, that a name I had given to me when I first started singing supper clubs. I used to get on stage and start crying with my songs and going down on my knees and so on. I’m still that way, I guess. But now I don’t cry on stage.”
Bunny recorded some more sides. But it was one summer, after performing at Atlantic City’s Ambassador Hotel that his big break came. Bunny was singing and improvising on the piano, searching for ideas, when he was brought to the attention of independent producers John Madara and Dave White (Len Barry’s “123”) by Leon Huff who suggested they check out Sigler’s performance at the Red Hill Inn. Impressed, they signed him to a deal that led to the release on Cameo of “Let The Good Times Roll”/”Feels So Good”, a soulification of two old R&B hits by Shirley & Lee. It’s irresistible groove saw it reach 12 in the US R&B Billboard charts.
When Cameo Parkway folded, Sigler began hanging around the hallways of Gamble Huff Productions, singing, strumming guitar and practising his newly acquired martial arts skills with wall punches and kicks. The latter proved unsettling to visiting clients leading Kenny Gamble to suggest that Sigler go into a room with Eugene Dozier and try to write some songs. Up to that point, Sigler hadn’t even thought about becoming a songwriter.
Around 1970, Gamble Huff Productions became Philadelphia International Records. When Eugene Dozier left the label, Sigler inherited his office. Sigler’s songwriting break came when a tune he co-wrote with Phil Hurtt, “(You Are My) Sunshine”, was released as a followup single to the O’Jays’ million selling ‘Back Stabbers’. Other Sigler/Hurtt tunes included on the ‘Back Stabbers’ album were “When The World Is At Peace” and “Who Am I”. The O’Jays’ followup album, ‘Ship Ahoy’, had Sigler’s first solo written song, “You Got Your Hooks In Me”, and the Sigler/Gamble tune “Don’t You Call Me Brother”. Sigler’s songs, productions, piano and background vocals are sprinkled throughout the Philadelphia International Records catalogue.
Sigler began to look for a group to develop, and through Jackie Ellis he met the TNJs (T for Trenton, NJ for New Jersey), a vocal group that built up a strong reputation around the Tristate area. Backing the TNJs were a band called Instant Funk. The nucleus of the band was bassist Raymond Earl and the Miller brothers, guitarist Kim Miller and drummer Scotty Miller. In 1972, Sigler was given the go ahead by PIR to record tracks for a his own album and he brought Instant Funk and the TNJs into the studio.
A single, a remake of Bobby Lewis’ “Tossin’ And Turnin”, gave Sigler his first chart hit (number 38 R&B) since “Let The Good Times Roll.”
In 1974, PIR issued two albums by Sigler, ‘That’s How Long I’ll Be Loving You’ and ‘Keep Smilin”. Though most tracks on Sigler’s PIR albums have backing tracks by MFSB, a significant number (including the whole ‘My Music’ album) feature the Instant Funk rhythm section. The section were also heard on hits by the O’Jays, Archie Bell the Drells, Evelyn “Champagne” King and Harold Melvin And The Blue Notes.
With the Philly soul sound so hot, Sigler got a chance to work with a number of acts as a writer and/or producer, including the Whispers, Ecstacy, Passion And Pain and Carl Carlton. He cut tracks for artists on Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom label, including Mayfield himself (“Trippin’ Out”), and made a duet album with Barbara Mason. In 1976, Sigler got Instant Funk an album deal with Gamble Huff’s TSOP label.
A year later Bunny recorded an album for Curtom, “Locked In This Position”.
In 1978, Sigler, bringing along Instant Funk, switched to Goldmind, a label started by MFSB guitarist Norman Harris and distributed by Salsoul Records. With his first release for the label, Sigler scored a Top Ten R&B single with “Let Me Party With You (Party, Party, Party)”. The album of the same name was a smash in disco clubs. When Goldmind folded, all of its acts were transferred to Salsoul. About a year after its release and thanks to a Larry Levan remix, “I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl)”, went on to be Instant Funk’s breakthrough hit (number one R&B). Both that single and the ‘Instant Funk’ album went gold. Just like at PIR, Sigler and Instant Funk worked with the acts on Salsoul – Loleatta Holloway, Double Exposure and First Choice as well as acts on other labels.
In the early ’80s, after the release of Bunny’s ‘Let It Snow’ album, Salsoul ceased operations. Sigler continued to write and produce, hitting with “Somebody Loves You Baby” (co-written with Eugene “Lambchops” Curry), a million seller for Patti Labelle, and taking Shirley Jones, formerly of Philadelphia International sister act the Jones Girls, to number one R&B with “Do You Get Enough Love” in August of 1986.
During his performing career Bunny had the honor to be invited to the United States Capitol where he sang the “23rd Psalm” at the investiture ceremony held at the Congressional Gold Medal to honor the Tuskegee Airmen on March 29, 2007. Bunny has been asked many times to sing the United States National Anthem at serveral major sporting events. Bunny has performed all over the world and has entertained millions with his high energy show. You won’t find anyone sitting down at a Bunny Sigler show !!
Creating serveral hits over the span of his career that today’s generation keep sampling , Bunny continues to write, produce and Record new material. He is the co-writer of the song, The Ruler’s Back which was an opening song for the Jay Z’s album, “Blueprint”.
He’s a living legend alright and a huge part of muisc history. Whether it’s performing, writing or producing he gives it his all….
It’s no wonder why the Industry has nicknamed him “Mr. Emotion” ~ BunnySigler.net
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