Friday, April 5, 2019

Donal Mahoney writes

I Feel Like James Brown

This morning I woke up early 
feelin' good, feelin' the way
I felt 50 years ago, no aches,
no pains, can’t wait to shower, 
hop on the El, go back to work, 
get the magazine out on time
then dance all night in a bar
to the music of James Brown.

I feel good like James today.
Wonder what my problem is.
Fifty years ago I felt good every day 
but never wanted to go to work.
I must be sick so I called the doctor

and described my symptoms.
I told him I felt like James Brown. 
Anything he could do to help?
He said take two aspirin and
call him when the music stops 
and I'm my old self again. 
James Brown, "The Godfather of Soul" -- Boris Normand

1 comment:

  1. At 16, James Brown was sent to a juvenile detention center in
    Toccoa, Georgia, where he earned the nickname "Music Box." He met Bobby Byrd and joined his gospel group after his release, which was renamed the Toccoa Band and then the Famous Flames. n 1958 he recorded the 1st of his 17 #1 rhythm and blues songs (he had 91 songs on the Billbord Hot 100), and in 1965 he recorded "I Got You (I Feel Good)," and his 1st Grammy winner, "Papa's Got a Brand new Bag." In 1967, with "Cold Sweat," he introduced funk, a danceable music form that combined soul music, jazz, and R&B; de-emphasizing melody and chord progressions, it focuses on complex, interlocking bass and drum rhythms and the extended chords of bebop jazz (such as minor chords with added 7ths and 11ths, or dominant 7th chords with altered 9ths and 13ths). By the end of the decade his vocals took the form of rhythmic declamation, not quite sung but not quite spoken, that only intermittently featured traces of pitch or melody, a precursor to rapping. In 1988 his new jack swing album "I'm Real," employing R&B-style vocals with hip hop and dance-pop instrumentation, spawned his last 2 top-10 hits, "I'm Real" and "Static." Meanwhile, the drum break from a new version of his 1969 hit "Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose" became so popular with breakdancers that Kurtis Blow called the song "the national anthem of hip hop." In the late 1980s he was sent to prison for 1 1/2 years for aggravated assault and other felonies. For many years, his touring show was one of the most extravagant productions in American popular music, with 3 guitarists, 2 bass guitar players, 2 drummers, 3 horns, a percussionist, and a 3-piece amplified string section, backup sings, and dancers, while James sang and danced, vigorously working popular dance steps, dramatic leaps, splits, and slides into his routine. They generally performed 330 or more shows a year, mostly 1-nighters. Although he recorded his last single in 2002 he continued to perform until his death from pneumonia in 2006, at 73.
    His song "I Found You" was recorded by his backup singer Yvonne Fair in 1962. He reworked it as "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and recorded it himself on the 1964 "Out of Sight" album, and then released an alternate take as a single in 1965.

    Whoa! I feel good, I knew that I would, now
    I feel good, I knew that I would, now
    So good, so good, I got you

    Whoa! I feel nice, like sugar and spice
    I feel nice, like sugar and spice
    So nice, so nice, I got you

    When I hold you in my arms
    I know that I can't do no wrong
    And when I hold you in my arms
    My love won't do you no harm


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