James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer, songwriter, musician and entertainer extraordinaire…..who without question was the original definition of the phase “Soul Brother”…..at least to a young boy growing up West Texas as far back as 1952…..and from memories of dancing with the girls at the Midland High Youth Center…..while having special memories of dancing to “Try Me”…..cuz that song just seems to get a really good message across without a shy boy having to say it out loud…..plus, if you could dance really well…..especially on a slow dance…..for the truth be told, a really good sashay around the dance floor to James Brown singing that song…..and all that can be said is that a lot of deals were closed while on the dance floor of the youth center…..which was a place that legends like Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and none other than the Godfather of Soul James Brown et al…..and after that extraordinary night…..James Brown was indeed the a Soul Brother…..and continues to be some 20 years after his death. James Brown is like many of the legendary artist featured here at ImaSportPhile…..as he embodied a work ethic and drive that far exceeded his incredible talent…..which resulted in what is a rather large “footprint of talent”…..while considering his portfolio of content over 50+ years…..and for that reason…..along with so many wonderful memories of dancing to “Mr. Dynamite”…..we hope that you enjoy the life and legend of James Brown. Please note that we are beginning the video journey into the life and legend of James Brown with a live television performance on Late Night with David Letterman in 1982…..which we here at ImaSportsPhile consider to be the best live performance EVER on television …..we substantiate our opinion with a discussion on the podcast program Professional Musicians React in 2022 where 4 very successful professional musicians breakdown just how phenominal James Brown’s performance really was…..which is evidence of our opinion…..and goes a long way in giving the tribute to The Godfather of Soul so richly deserves.
Music & Talk Shows – James Brown – Late Night with David Letterman – 1982 – A Art Howard Production Special – “James Brown: Performs “Get On Up” & “Sex Machine” for The Best Live Performance on TV Ever”
Music & Talk Shows – James Brown – Professional Musicians React – 2022 – A Dead Wax Production Special – “James Brown Topics of Discussion: Cold Sweat & JB’s Performance on David Letterman in 1982”
In addition to being the Godfather of Soul Music…..James Brown was the central progenitor of funk music…..and a major figure of 20th-century music…..while he is referred to by various honorific nicknames, some of which include “the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business”, “Godfather of Soul”, “Mr. Dynamite” and “Soul Brother No. 1”. In a career that lasted more than 50 years, he influenced the development of several music genres…..to include soul, blues, rhythm and blues, funk, rap, rock n roll and gospel. Brown was one of the first 10 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at its inaugural induction in New York on January 23, 1986. The documentary film below reveals a much different perspective of Soul Brother # 1 than the opinion of him that the media portrayed over the past 60 years…..for here was a man that in his heart and soul, truly wanted to give black people around the world a spark of understanding that they too could rise above their current status of being under the thumb of some power broker…..so, as the video shows, James Brown preserved everything in his career in order to provide that same spark to future black generations….. which goes to show you that this extraordinary man was doing God’s work by using the talents that were given to him.
Music – Documentary Film Video – James Brown – 2020 – A Reelblack One Production Special – “Soul Connection: The James Brown Story” – Providing A Very Introspective Look At Who Legendary Entertainer James Brown Really Was
Brown began his career as a gospel singer in Toccoa, Georgia…..then he rose to prominence in the mid-1950’s as the lead singer of the Famous Flames….. which was a rhythm and blues vocal group founded by Bobby Byrd. With the hit ballads “Please, Please, Please” and “Try Me”, Brown built a reputation as a dynamic live performer with the Famous Flames…..and then with his backing band…..which was sometimes known as the James Brown Band or the James Brown Orchestra. His success peaked in the 1960’s with the album Live at the Apollo…..along with hit singles such as “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”, “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”. As evidenced in the video below…..Michael Jackson couldn’t hold a candle to James Brown when it came to “cuttin’ a rug” with dance moves.
Dance Clips & Music – James Brown – 2022 – A Zay Visuals Production Special – “James Brown: Give It Up Or Turn It Loose Career Dance Clips”
During the late 1960’s, Brown moved from a continuum of blues and gospel-based forms and styles to a profoundly “Africanized” approach to music….. while making, emphasizing stripped-down interlocking rhythms that influenced the development of funk music…..so, by the early 1970’s, Brown had fully established the funk sound after the formation of the J.B.s with records such as “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine” and “The Payback”. He also became noted for songs of social commentary, including the 1968 hit “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud”.
Music – James Brown – Live at Teatro 10 in Rome, Italy – 1971 – A MrHaagsesjonny1 Production Special – “James Brown and The JB’s Performs “Get On Up – Like A Sex Machine”
Music & Animation – James Brown – Funk – 1973 – A James Brown Production Special – Official Visualizer For Song “The Payback”
Brown recorded and released 17 singles that reached # 1 on the Billboard R&B charts…..plus, he also holds the record for the most singles listed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart that did not reach # 1. Brown was posthumously inducted into the first class of the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2013 as an artist…..and then again in 2017 as a songwriter. He also received honors from several other institutions…..which include inductions into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In Joel Whitburn’s analysis of the Billboard R&B charts from 1942 to 2010, Brown is ranked # 1 in the Top 500 Artists…..while being ranked 7th on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Music – James Brown – Full Live Concert – 1999 – A James Brown on MV Production Special – “James Brown and The Soul Generals: Live at Woodstock ’99 East Stage (Rome NY)
Brown was born on May 3, 1933, in Barnwell, South Carolina, to 16-year-old Susie and 21-year-old Joseph Gardner Brown, in a small wooden shack. Brown’s name was supposed to have been Joseph James Brown…..but his first and middle names were mistakenly reversed on his birth certificate. In his autobiography, Brown stated that he had Chinese and Native American ancestry and that his father was of mixed African-American and Native American descent, while his mother was of mixed African-American and Asian descent. The Brown family lived in poverty in Elko, South Carolina….. which was an impoverished town at the time. They later moved to Augusta, Georgia when James was four or five…..when his family first settled at one of his aunts’ brothels…..then they later moved into a house shared with another aunt. Brown’s mother eventually left the family after a contentious and abusive marriage and moved to New York.
Biography & Music – A&E Biography With Peter Graves (Full Broadcast) – James Brown – 1996 – A SELECTiViSiON1 Production Special – “”Biography: James Brown” – A Complete Lifetime Documentary
He began singing in talent shows as a young child…..while first appearing at Augusta’s Lenox Theater in 1944…..when he won the show after singing the ballad “So Long”. While in Augusta, Brown performed buck dances for change to entertain troops from Camp Gordon at the start of World War II….. as their convoys traveled over a canal bridge near his aunt’s home. This is where he first heard the legendary blues musician Howlin’ Wolf play guitar. He learned to play the piano, guitar, and harmonica during this period. He became inspired to become an entertainer after hearing “Caldonia” by Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five. In his teen years, Brown briefly had a career as a boxer. At the age of 16, he was convicted of robbery and sent to a juvenile detention center in Toccoa. There, he formed a gospel quartet with four fellow cellmates…..which included Johnny Terry…..then Brown met singer Bobby Byrd when the two played against each other in a baseball game outside the detention center…..when Byrd also discovered that Brown could sing after hearing of “a guy called Music Box”…..which was Brown’s nickname at the prison. Byrd has since claimed he and his family helped to secure an early release for Brown…..which led to Brown promising the court he would “sing for the Lord”. Brown was released on a work sponsorship with Toccoa business owner S.C. Lawson…..who was impressed with Brown’s work ethic…..and secured his release with a promise to keep him employed for two years…..so, Brown was paroled on June 14, 1952…..and he went on to work with both of Lawson’s sons…..and would come back to visit the family from time to time throughout his career. Shortly after being paroled he joined the gospel group the Ever-Ready Gospel Singers…..which featured Byrd’s sister Sarah. Brown eventually joined Bobby Byrd’s group in 1954….. as the group had evolved from the Gospel Starlighters, an a cappella gospel group, to an R&B group with the name the Avons. He reputedly joined the band after one of its members, Troy Collins, died in a car crash. Along with Brown and Byrd, the group consisted of Sylvester Keels, Doyle Oglesby, Fred Pulliam, Nash Knox and Nafloyd Scott. Influenced by R&B groups such as Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, the Orioles and Billy Ward and his Dominoes…..when the group changed its name, first to the Toccoa Band and then to the Flames. Nafloyd’s brother Baroy later joined the group on bass guitar…..and Brown, Byrd and Keels switched lead positions and instruments, often playing drums and piano…..then Johnny Terry later joined, by which time Pulliam and Oglesby had long left. Berry Trimier became the group’s first manager…..who would book them at parties near college campuses in Georgia and South Carolina. The group had already gained a reputation as a good live act when they renamed themselves the Famous Flames. In 1955, the group had contacted Little Richard while performing in Macon. Richard convinced the group to get in contact with his manager at the time, Clint Brantley, at his nightclub. Brantley agreed to manage them after seeing the group audition. He then sent them to a local radio station to record a demo session, where they performed their own composition “Please, Please, Please”…..which was inspired when Little Richard wrote the words of the title on a napkin…..and Brown was determined to make a song out of it. The Famous Flames eventually signed with King Records’ Federal subsidiary in Cincinnati, Ohio…..and issued a re-recorded version of “Please, Please, Please” in March 1956…..and the song became the group’s first R&B hit….. while selling over a million copies…..when none of their follow-ups gained similar success. By 1957, Brown had replaced Clint Brantley as manager and hired Ben Bart, chief of Universal Attractions Agency. That year the original Flames broke up, after Bart changed the name of the group to “James Brown and His Famous Flames”.
Music – James Brown & Aretha Franklin – Live at the Taboo Club, Detroit, Mi – 1987 – A Soul On Top Production Special – The King & Queen of Soul Performing “Please, Please, Please” and “Living In America” Live on Stage
In October 1958, Brown released the ballad “Try Me”…..which hit # 1 on the R&B chart in the beginning of 1959…..while becoming the first of seventeen chart-topping R&B hits. Shortly afterwards, he recruited his first band, led by J. C. Davis…..and reunited with Bobby Byrd…..who joined a revived Famous Flames lineup that included Eugene “Baby” Lloyd Stallworth and Bobby Bennett…..along with Johnny Terry sometimes coming in as the “fifth Flame”. Brown, the Flames and his entire band debuted at the Apollo Theater on April 24, 1959, opening for Brown’s idol, Little Willie John. Federal Records issued two albums credited to Brown and the Famous Flames (both contained previously released singles)…..then by 1960, Brown began multi-tasking in the recording studio involving himself, his singing group, the Famous Flames, and his band, a separate entity from the Flames, sometimes named the James Brown Orchestra or the James Brown Band. That year the band released the top ten R&B hit “(Do the) Mashed Potatoes” on Dade Records, owned by Henry Stone, billed under the pseudonym “Nat Kendrick & the Swans” due to label issues. As a result of its success, King president Syd Nathan shifted Brown’s contract from Federal to the parent label, King, which according to Brown in his autobiography meant “you got more support from the company”. While with King, Brown, under the Famous Flames lineup, released the hit-filled album Think!…..and then the following year released two albums with the James Brown Band earning second billing. With the Famous Flames, Brown sang lead on several more hits, including “Bewildered”, “I’ll Go Crazy” and “Think”…..which were songs that hinted at his emerging style.
Music – James Brown – Live at The Ritz, NYC – 1986 – A James Brown on MV Production Special – James Brown Sings “Try Me”
Music – James Brown – Live at The Olympia Theatre, Paris, France – 1971 – A Soul On Top Production Special – James Brown Sings “Bewildered” and “There Was A Time”
Music – James Brown & Joe Cocker – Live at the Taboo Club, Detroit, Mi – 1987 – A Andranik Azizbekyan Production Special – Joe Cocker & James Brown Performing “I’ll Go Crazy” Live on Stage
Music – James Brown – Live at the Apollo Theatre, NYC – 1973 – A Andranik Azizbekyan Production Special – James Brown Performing “Think” Live on Stage
In 1962, Brown and his band scored a hit with their cover of the instrumental “Night Train”…..while becoming a top five R&B single…..then that same year, the ballads “Lost Someone” and “Baby You’re Right” (a Joe Tex composition) added to his repertoire and increased his reputation with R&B audiences. On October 24, 1962, Brown financed a live recording of a performance at the Apollo…..and convinced Syd Nathan to release the album despite Nathan’s belief that no one would buy a live album due to the fact that Brown’s singles had already been bought and that live albums were usually bad sellers. Live at the Apollo was released the following June and became an immediate hit…..while eventually reaching # 2 on the Top LPs chart and selling over a million copies…..and staying on the charts for 14 months. In 1963, Brown scored his first top 20 pop hit with his rendition of the standard “Prisoner of Love”. He also launched his first label, Try Me Records…..which included recordings by the likes of Tammy Montgomery (later to be famous as Tammi Terrell), Johnny & Bill (Famous Flames associates Johnny Terry and Bill Hollings) and the Poets…..which was another name used for Brown’s backing band. The 1st video below is a live stage performance at the 1964 TAMI Show concert that included performances by numerous popular rock and roll and R&B musicians from the United States and England…..as TAMI stood for both “Teenage Awards Music International” …..but also “Teen Age Music International”. The concert was held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on October 28 and 29, 1964…..when free tickets were distributed to local high school students…..when the best footage from each of the two concert dates was edited into the film…..which was released on December 29, 1964. The TAMI Show is particularly well known for James Brown’s performance featuring his legendary dance moves and explosive energy…..and any way that you cut the pie…..it is the most impressive dance routine ever viewed here ImaSportsPhile….and we challenge anybody to just duplicate what you are about to see…..so, ENJOY…. cuz that’s what the Godfather of Soul was all about…..we mean, just look at the lifelong memories that all of that predominately white teenage girls crowd took home with them that night. James Brown, entertainer extraordinaire who “kicked over” racial barriers with a song and a dance.
Music – Live Concerts – James Brown & The Famous Flames – 1964 – Live on Stage at the 1964 TAMI Show – Performing “Night Train” – With A Dance Routine That Can’t Be Replicated Or Duplicated
Music – Live at the Illustrious Beverly Theatre in Hollywood – James Brown + Michael Jackson + Prince – 1983 – Live on Stage James Brown Brings Michael Jackson and Prince Out of the Crowd To The Stage to Perform….and They Do!!
Music – 1983 – Live On The Ed Sullivan Show – James Brown and The JBs – “I’m Just A Prisoner of Love”
Music – James Brown – Photo Gallery – 1962 – From the Album Think! – James Brown and The Famous Flames – “Baby You’re Right”
Music – James Brown – Live at the Apollo Theatre, NYC – 1962 – James Brown and The Famous Flames – “Lost Someone”
In 1964, seeking bigger commercial success, Brown and Bobby Byrd formed the production company, Fair Deal, linking the operation to the Mercury imprint, Smash Records. King Records, however, fought against this and was granted an injunction preventing Brown from releasing any recordings for the label. Prior to the injunction, Brown had released three vocal singles….. which included the blues-oriented hit “Out of Sight”…..which further indicated the direction his music was going to take. Touring throughout the year, Brown and the Famous Flames grabbed more national attention after delivering an explosive show-stopping performance on the live concert film The T.A.M.I. Show. The Flames’ dynamic gospel-tinged vocals, polished choreography and timing as well as Brown’s energetic dance moves and high-octane singing upstaged the proposed closing act, the Rolling Stones….. as the following two videos will substantiate just how they up-staged The Stones…..and that was 1964 folks…..we mean, wasn’t rock n roll the king in 1964!?!…..but then again, what artist or band in their right mind would want to go up against “The Hardest Working Man in Music”…..for there is no way that they could ever duplicate the energy that Brown puts out on stage….and certainly not what he could create in a crowd…..at least judging by these following videos.
Music – Live Concerts – James Brown & The Famous Flames – 1964 – Live on Stage at the 1964 TAMI Show – Performing “Out Of Sight”
Music – Live Concerts – James Brown & The Famous Flames – 1965 – Live on Stage at the 1964 TAMI Show – Performing “Please, Please, Please”
Having signed a new deal with King, Brown released his song “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” in 1965…..which became his first top ten pop hit…..and won him his first Grammy Award…..when Brown also signed a production deal with Loma Records. Later in 1965, he issued “I Got You”…..which became his 2nd single in a row to reach # 1 on the R&B chart…..and top ten on the pop chart…..when he followed that up with the ballad “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”, a 3rd Top 10 Pop hit (# 1 R&B)…..which confirmed his place as a top-ranking performer, especially with R&B audiences from that point on.
Music – Live Concerts – James Brown & The Famous Flames – 1965 – Live on Stage Performing “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag”
Music & Variety Shows – James Brown Medley – The Ed Sullivan Show – 1966 – James Brown and The Famous Flames Performing “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag + I Got You (I Feel Good) + Out Of Sight + It’s A Man’s World + Please Please Please”
Music – Live at “Live 8’s Final Push” in Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium Concert – James Brown & The Soul General – 2005 – Live on Stage Performing “I Got You (I Feel Good)” – A Year Before His Death and 40 Years After Releasing This Song
Music – Live at “North Sea Jazz Festival” at the Congress Center in The Hague Concert – James Brown & Betty Jean Newsome – 1981 – Live on Stage Performing “It’s A Man’s World”
By 1967, Brown’s emerging sound had begun to be defined as funk music. That year he released what some critics cited as the 1st true funk song, “Cold Sweat”…..which hit # 1 on the R&B chart (Top 10 Pop)…..and became one of his 1st recordings to contain a drum break…..and also the 1st that featured a harmony that was reduced to a single chord. The instrumental arrangements on tracks such as “Give It Up or Turnit a Loose” and “Licking Stick-Licking Stick” (both recorded in 1968)…..along with “Funky Drummer” (recorded in 1969) featured a more developed version of Brown’s mid-1960’s style…..with the horn section, guitars, bass and drums meshed together in intricate rhythmic patterns based on multiple interlocking riffs.
Music – Soul – James Brown – Live on Stage – 1969 – James Brown & The Famous Flames – “Cold Sweat”
Music & TV Shows – James Brown – Live at the The Sammy Davis Jr. Hollywood Palace – 1969 – James Brown & The Famous Flames – “I’m Black & I’m Proud” + “I Got The Feeling” + “Give It Up Or Turn It Loose” + “Please Please Please” + “I Feel Good” (with Sammy Davis) – An Awesome Performance
Music – James Brown – Live on Stage at the Ritz in NYC – 1986 – James Brown & The Soul Generals – “Give It Up or Turn It Loose”
Music – James Brown – Recorded Live At Bell Auditorium, Augusta, GA – 1969 – From the Album Sex Machine – James Brown & The Famous Flames – “I Don’t Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door I’ll Get It Myself)”
Music & Dance Moves – James Brown – Career Dance Moves Highlights – 2021 – A Zay Visuals Production Special – “James Brown: Career Dance Highlights Put To A James Brown Music Medley”
Changes in Brown’s style that started with “Cold Sweat” also established the musical foundation for Brown’s later hits…..such as “I Got the Feelin'” in 1968…..and “Mother Popcorn” in 1969. By this time Brown’s vocals frequently took the form of a kind of rhythmic declamation…..while not quite sung but not quite spoken…..and only intermittently featured traces of pitch or melody…..as this would become a major influence on the techniques of rapping…..which would come to maturity along with hip hop music in the coming decades. Brown’s style of funk in the late 1960’s was based on interlocking syncopated parts….. with strutting bass lines, syncopated drum patterns and iconic percussive guitar riffs. The main guitar ostinatos for “Ain’t It Funky” and “Give It Up” or Turnit a Loose” (both 1969), are examples of Brown’s refinement of New Orleans funk…..with irresistibly danceable riffs, stripped down to their rhythmic essence. On both recordings, the tonal structure is bare bones…..while the pattern of attack points is the emphasis, not the pattern of pitches as if the guitar were an African drum or idiophone. Alexander Stewart states that this popular feel was passed along from “New Orleans—through James Brown’s music, to the popular music of the 1970’s”. Those same tracks were later resurrected by countless hip-hop musicians from the 1970’s onward. As a result, James Brown remains to this day the world’s most sampled recording artist…..but, two tracks that he wrote, are also synonymous with modern dance, especially with house music, jungle music, and drum and bass music…..which were sped up exponentially, in the latter two genres. Then the song “Bring it Up” has an Afro-Cuban guajeo-like structure…..as all three of these guitar riffs are based on an onbeat / offbeat structure. Stewart says that it “is different from a time line (such as clave and tresillo) in that it is not an exact pattern, but more of a loose organizing principle.”
Music -James Brown – From the Album James Brown in a Jungle Groove (Full Version) – 1970 – A Funk Forum Production Special – James Brown – “Funky Drummer”
Music – James Brown – Live at The Apollo Theatre in Harlen, NYC – 1968 – A James Brown Production Special – James Brown – “I Got The Feeling”
Music & TV Variety Show – Funk – James Brown – Live on The David Steinberg Show – 1972 – James Brown & Saxophonist Maceo Parker – “Mother Popcorn”
Music & Concerts – James Brown – Live at the Olympia in Paris – 1971 – James Brown & The JB’s – “Ain’t It Funky Now”
It was around this time as the musician’s popularity increased that he acquired the nickname “Soul Brother No. 1″…..which came after failing to win the title “King of Soul” from Solomon Burke during a Chicago gig two years prior. Brown’s recordings during this period influenced musicians across the industry, most notably groups such as Sly and the Family Stone, Funkadelic, Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, Booker T. & the M.G.s as well as vocalists such as Edwin Starr, David Ruffin and Dennis Edwards from the Temptations and Michael Jackson….. who throughout his career, cited Brown as his ultimate idol.
Music – James Brown – Funk – Recorded Live from Dallas, Tx for the Album Say it Loud, Say it Live – 1968 – James Brown &The Famous Flames – “Licking Stick Licking Stick”
Dance Moves & Music – James Brown – Recorded From 1979 To 1993 Live on Stage – A MMMbike Production Special – “James Brown: Dance Moves To ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’ from 1979 – 1993”
Brown’s band during this period employed musicians and arrangers who had come up through the jazz tradition…..as he was noted for his ability as a bandleader and songwriter to blend the simplicity and drive of R&B with the rhythmic complexity and precision of jazz. Trumpeter Lewis Hamlin and saxophonist/keyboardist Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis (the successor to previous bandleader Nat Jones) led the band…..as guitarist Jimmy Nolen provided percussive, deceptively simple riffs for each song…..and Maceo Parker’s prominent saxophone solos provided a focal point for many performances. Other members of Brown’s band included stalwart Famous Flames singer and sideman Bobby Byrd, trombonist Fred Wesley, drummers John “Jabo” Starks, Clyde Stubblefield and Melvin Parker, saxophonist St. Clair Pinckney, guitarist Alphonso “Country” Kellum and bassist Bernard Odum. In addition to a torrent of singles and studio albums, Brown’s output during this period included two more successful live albums…..with Live at the Garden in 1967…..and Live at the Apollo, Volume II in 1968…..along with a 1968 television special, James Brown: Man to Man. His music empire expanded along with his influence on the music scene. As Brown’s music empire grew, his desire for financial and artistic independence grew as well. Brown bought radio stations during the late 1960’s…..which included WRDW in his native Augusta…..where he shined shoes as a boy…..then in November 1967, James Brown purchased radio station WGYW in Knoxville, Tennessee, for a reported $75,000, according to the January 20, 1968 Record World magazine…..with the call letters being changed to WJBE reflecting his initials. WJBE began on January 15, 1968 by broadcasting a Rhythm & Blues format. The station slogan was “WJBE 1430 Raw Soul”. Brown also bought WEBB in Baltimore in 1970.
Music & Live Concert – James Brown – Recorded Live at The Apollo Theater – 1967 – For the Album James Brown Live at the Apoll II – James Brown & The Flames – “That’s Life”
Music & Live Concert – James Brown – Recorded Live at The Apollo Theater – 1967 – For the Album James Brown Live at the Apoll II – James Brown & The Flames – “Kansas City”
Music & TV Special Concert – James Brown – WNEW TV New York Concert Special – 1968 – “Live at The Apollo: Man To Man” – Featuring James Brown & The Famous Flames
Brown branched out to make several recordings with musicians outside his own band. In an attempt to appeal to the older, more affluent, and predominantly white adult contemporary audience, Brown recorded Gettin’ Down To It in 1969…..and Soul on Top in 1970…..which were two albums consisting mostly of romantic ballads, jazz standards and homologous reinterpretations of his earlier hits…..with the Dee Felice Trio and the Louie Bellson Orchestra. In 1968, he recorded a number of funk-oriented tracks with the Dapps, a white Cincinnati band, including the hit “I Can’t Stand Myself”…..plus, he also released 3 albums of Christmas music with his own band.
Music – James Brown – Soul Jazz – From the Album Getting Down To It – 1969 – James Brown – “Sunny”
Music – James Brown – Soul Jazz – From the Album Soul On Top – 1969 – James Brown – “For Once In My Life”
Music – James Brown – Soul Jazz – From the Album James Brown: A Soulful Christmas – 1970 – James Brown – “Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto” – As Only James Brown Would Sing a Socially Conscious Christmas Song – God Bless Him
Music – James Brown – Soul Jazz – From the Album James Brown’s Funky Christmas – 1970 – James Brown – “Let’s Make Christmas Mean Something This Year”
Music – James Brown – Soul Jazz – From the Album James Brown’s Funky Christmas – 1970 – James Brown – “Please Come Home For Christmas”
In March 1970, most of Brown’s mid-to-late 1960’s road band walked out on him due to financial disputes, a development augured by the prior disbandment of the Famous Flames singing group for the same reason in 1968. Brown and erstwhile Famous Flames singer Bobby Byrd…..who chose to remain in the band during this tumultuous period as co-frontman…..while effectively serving as a proto-hype man in live performances…..who then subsequently recruited several members of the Pacemakers, a Cincinnati-based ensemble that included bassist Bootsy Collins and his brother, guitarist Phelps “Catfish” Collins…..who were augmented by the remaining members of the 1960’s road band (including Fred Wesley, who rejoined Brown’s outfit in December 1970) and other newer musicians…..who would form the nucleus of the J.B.’s, Brown’s new backing ensemble. Shortly following their 1st performance together, the band entered the studio to record the Brown-Byrd composition, “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine”…..as the song with its off the beat play Brown called “The One”…..along with several other contemporaneous singles that would further cement Brown’s influence in the nascent genre of funk music. This iteration of the J.B.’s dissolved after a March 1971 European tour (documented on the 1991 archival release Love Power Peace) due to additional money disputes and Bootsy Collins’s use of LSD…..when a new lineup of the J.B.’s coalesced around Wesley, St. Clair Pinckney and drummer John Starks.
Music – James Brown – Funk – 1970 – Live on Stage – James Brown and The JBs – “Get On Up (I Feel Like Being) A Sex Machine”
Music – James Brown – Funk – 1970 – Live on Stage – James Brown and The JBs – “Doing The Best I Can”
In 1971, Brown began recording for Polydor Records…..when many of his sidemen and supporting players including Fred Wesley & the J.B.’s, Bobby Byrd, Lyn Collins, Vicki Anderson and former rival Hank Ballard, released records on the People label.
Music – James Brown – Live at The Mandalay Casino in Las Vegas – 1999 – James Brown & The Soul Generals – Entire Concert
During the 1972 presidential election, James Brown openly proclaimed his support of Richard Nixon for reelection to the presidency over Democratic candidate George McGovern. The decision led to a boycott of his performances and, according to Brown, cost him a big portion of his black audience…..and as a result, Brown’s record sales and concerts in the United States reached a lull in 1973…..when he failed to land a # 1 R&B single that year…..plus, he also faced problems with the IRS for failure to pay back taxes, charging he hadn’t paid upwards of $4.5 million…..when five years earlier, the IRS had claimed he owed nearly $2 million…..and we at ImaSportsPhile believe that there may not be any more distasteful combinations than the IRS and taxes…..while a backstage interview at the Austin Opera House (downtown Austin, TX) with the the legendary James Brown prior to his performance at the iconic music house…..(actually attended by one of our staff)…..makes for a far more palatable experience…..and the following jewel of a video provides a truly amazing in-depth view of what made James Brown tic. You see, it is our belief that God gives everybody born to humanity their own special talent…..and the Godfather of Soul took his God given talent of music and made himself into the Hardest Working Man in Music…..cuz he understood that any person can understand that they have a God given talent for something…..but they have to do something with that talent….as they have to put blood, sweat, tears and time into developing gift of ability…..and that is why mankind has been given the gift of co-creation. The following video brings back some wonderful memories…..for The Sports Place, Madison Square Garden in downtown Austin in 1983, was also a music house too…..which is evidenced by our 12,000+ video library that we are in process of posting here on our webpage…..cuz there’s over 1500 music videos currently posted….and that’s why we have so much music from that time period. Any way you cut the pie, the following video is incredible…..cuz the Godfather of Soul does drop some serious knowledge.
Music & Interviews – 1983 – James Brown – Backstage at the Austin Opera House in Downtown Austin – Interview by Brenda Malik with James Brown “Dropping Knowledge” – An Awesome Introspective Exposure Of the Godfather of Soul n Funk Music
Music – James Brown – From the Album The Payback – 1973 – James Brown – “Stone To The Bone”
Music – James Brown – From the Album The Payback – 1973 – James Brown – “Mind Power”
In 1973, Brown provided the score for the blaxploitation film Black Caesar. In 1974 he returned to the # 1 spot on the R&B charts with “The Payback” …..with the parent album reaching the same spot on the album charts….. when he would reach # 1 two more times in 1974 with “My Thang” and “Papa Don’t Take No Mess”…..as the song that would prove to be his final single to reach the # 1 spot on the R&B charts. His other Top Ten R&B hits during this latter period included “Funky President” (R&B No. 4) and “Get Up Offa That Thing” (R&B No. 4).
Music & Live TV – Soul – James Brown – Live on Stage of the Soul Train Show – 1973 – James Brown & The JBs Performing “Papa Don’t Take No Mess” and “My Thang” – As Soul Brother # 1 Gets Down and Dances in the Soul Train Line
Music – Funk – James Brown – From the Album James Brown Reality – 1974 – James Brown – “Funky President (People It’s Bad)”
Music & Live TV – Funk – James Brown – Live on Stage of the Midnight Special Show – 1973 – James Brown & The JBs Performing “Papa Don’t Take No Mess” – With Intro By Wolfman Jack
Music & Dance Moves – James Brown – Compilation of Funk Dancing – 1974 – A Zay Visuals Production Special – “James Brown Gettin’ Funky On The 1”
Although his records were mainstays of the vanguard New York underground disco scene (exemplified by DJs such as David Mancuso and Francis Grasso) from 1969 onwards, Brown did not consciously yield to the trend until 1975’s Sex Machine Today. By 1977, he was no longer a dominant force in R&B…..when after “Get Up Offa That Thing”, thirteen of Brown’s late 1970’s recordings for Polydor failed to reach the Top 10 of the R&B chart…..with only “Bodyheat” in 1976 and the disco-oriented “It’s Too Funky in Here” in 1979 reaching the R&B Top 15…..and the ballad “Kiss in ’77” reaching the Top 20. After 1976’s “Bodyheat”, he also failed to appear on the Billboard Hot 100. As a result, Brown’s concert attendance began dropping and his reported disputes with the IRS caused his business empire to collapse. In addition, several longtime bandmates (including Wesley and Maceo Parker) had gradually pivoted to Parliament-Funkadelic…..which reached its critical and commercial apogee in the mid-to-late 1970’s. The emergence of disco also forestalled Brown’s success on the R&B charts because its slicker, more commercial style had superseded his rawer, one-chord funk productions.
Music & Concerts – Funk – James Brown – Live at the Monterey Music Festival – 1979 – James Brown – “Body Heat”
Music & Concerts – Funk – James Brown – Live in Concert in Toronto, Canada – 1979 – James Brown – “It’s Too Funky In Here”
Music – Ballad – Recorded as a Single – 1977 – James Brown – “Kiss in ’77”
As we come to the point where WordPress doesn’t have the content space to be able to add any more videos…..and the life and legend of the greatest entertainer of all time is just about halfway through…..as we’ve got another 30 years of videos left to share…..however, we think it is safe to say, that without question, James Brown was on a mission from God throughout his life on stage to get the music out to black folks all over the world, that it is time to stand up and get after improving on your God given talents…..and by this time in his life, he was reaching literally millions of his race, because without a doubt, he was the hardest working man in show business.
End of the Legend of James Brown – Part 1
Part 2 Begins on the Next Post