James Brown - Songs


James Brown (May 3, 1933 - December 25, 2006) was a highly acclaimed and influential R&B/soul/funk singer, songwriter, dancer, bandleader, multi-instrumentalist, and producer with trademark raw, forceful vocals and a dynamic performing style who became famous beginning in the mid 1950s. His commercial fame peaked during the 1960s with such smashes as "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" (1965), "I Got You (I Feel Good)" (1965), "It's A Man's Man's Man's World" (1966), "Cold Sweat" (1967), and the socially-conscious "Say It Loud - I'm Black And I'm Proud" (1968). As one of the 20th century's top acts in popular music, Brown has inspired such veteran artists as Aerosmith, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, and Mick Jagger, along with Afrika Bambaataa, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Public Enemy, and other more contemporary performers.

Born in Barnwell, South Carolina in a poor family and raised in Augusta, Georgia, he performed in talent shows as a child and began singing gospel music at age 16 while serving time in a juvenile detention center after being convicted of armed robbery. With the help of singer Bobby Byrd and his family, Brown got an early release and in 1954 joined Byrd's group, then known as The Avons. By 1956, they had become known as The Famous Flames, with Brown as lead singer, and were signed to Federal, a subsidiary of King Records. Brown also began recording solo in the mid 1960s, and James Brown & The Famous Flames continued through 1968 before finally disbanding. He later formed the J.B.s and also recorded under The James Brown Soul Train and other monikers.

James Brown debuted in 1956 on the R&B charts with the pleading "Please, Please, Please," which became a Top 5 hit and a million seller and later re-emerged on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964. This smash was followed by the romantic ballad, "Try Me" (1958), which became the first of a whopping 17 songs to top the R&B charts. Among Brown's greatest Pop/Rock crossover successes were "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag Part I" (1965), "I Got You (I Feel Good)" (1965), "It's A Man's Man's Man's World" (1966), "Cold Sweat - Part 1" (1967), "I Got The Feelin'" (1968), "Licking Stick - Licking Stick (Part 1)" (1968), "Say It Loud - I'm Black And I'm Proud (Part 1)" (1968), "Mother Popcorn (You Got To Have A Mother For Me) Part 1" (1969), "Super Bad (Part 1 & Part 2)" (1970), "Get On The Good Foot-Part 1" (1972), "The Payback - Part I" (1974), "Get Up Offa That Thing" (1976), and "Living In America" (1985). The latter hit as performed by Brown was featured in "Rocky IV" (1985) starring Sylvester Stallone.

In a career that spanned over a half century, James Brown was a major shaping force of soul, gospel, R&B, funk, disco, rap, hip-hop, and many other genres. He was among the first group of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees at its inaugural ceremony in 1986, and his numerous other honors and accolades included a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award (1992) and being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2000), the UK Music Hall of Fame (2006), the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame (2013, 2017), and the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame (2021).




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James Brown performs "Please Please Please" on The Ed Sullivan Show (October 30, 1966).

Available on iTunes and on the following DVDs: Ed Sullivan Presents - Rock n' Roll Revolution; Rock n' Roll Forever; Rock n Roll Classics 12 DVD Collection; (more)


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James Brown Soul Train

James Brown

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