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In a 2004 interview with The Tennessean newspaper, Hebb recalled that all four Beatles were nice.

“John (Lennon) and George (Harrison) were very quiet,” he said. “But Ringo (Starr) and Paul (McCartney) were more active and easier to get to know. It was just something to be with those cats.”

In 1971, Lou Rawls won a Grammy award for “A Natural Man,” written by Hebb and Sandy Baron. Broadcast Music Incorporated said Tuesday there have been 7 million airings of “Sunny.”

As recently as 2007, Hebb was still writing songs and had his own publishing company and record label, Hebb Cats.

Hebb was born to blind parents and raised in Nashville. He joined the Navy in 1955 where he played the trumpet in a jazz band.

In the 1950s Hebb also played and danced with Roy Acuff’s country band, the Smoky Mountain Boys, and became one of the first black musicians to perform on the Grand Ole Opry show in Nashville.

Funeral services were pending. Survivors include a daughter and four sisters.

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AP Entertainment Writer Chris Talbott contributed to this story.