TALK TO THE DADDY

Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Daddy has Georgia and James Brown on His Mind

A few weeks ago, the daddy posted about the new DVD about James Brown called "I Got the Feelin" set to come out on August 5th. He talked about the DVD showcasing JB not only as a great performer but a great bandleader, orchestrating a tight-knit, soulful band that recorded nothing but hits.

The daddy said that JB
was "...a three-figure hit maker with 114 total entries on Billboard's R&B singles charts and 94 that made the Hot 100 singles chart. Seventeen of these hits reached number one, a feat topped only by Stevie Wonder and Louis Jordan. Over the years, while maintaining a grueling touring schedule, James Brown amassed 800 songs in his repertoire. With his signature one-three beat, James Brown directly influenced the evolutionary beat of soul music in the Sixties, funk music in the Seventies and rap music in the Eighties. "

But today, the daddy is thinking of JB, because he's feeling nostalgic. You see, the daddy was born in Alabama and raised in Georgia, the home state of two Georgia geniuses who, as a teenager, he saw regularly: James Brown and Otis Redding. Brown was from Augusta. Otis was from Macon. Both came often and played their hearts out to their loyal fans in Atlanta, a city with a large black population.

The daddy is thinking especially about going to see James Brown and his revue: the great opening set by Brown's killer band. With a great horn section anchored by jazzy saxophonist Maceo Parker and a rhythm section anchored by funky bassist Bootsy Collins, Brown's band was superbaad personified.The daddy remembers the build-up intro of Brown, where, as soon as it began, fans began cheering and moving toward the center of the stage to get closer, strutting to a thumping bass and soul-sweet blasts from horns as they did so. They knew Soul Brotha #1 would
"make it funky."

He remembers Brown singing and dancing with the horn section to his right and a group of women dancers to his left, everyone dancing in unison, creating a party atmosphere right on stage. They were talented, dressed to kill; and, for this crowd of a thousand or more predominantly black and proud audience, they were totally up to laying down the funk then running up a flag pole called soul.

Now, maybe it's because the daddy hasn't been home for a while. Maybe it's because he misses some of that great soul food, especially the cabbage, collard greens, red beans and rice, corn bread, and sweet tea.

Maybe it's because he's feeling lonely for his old, dark-skinned, wrinkled-faced relatives who, despite little formal education, dispense folk wisdom (what they call motherwit) of wise elders, taking ebonics to a higher art form but never failing to drop knowledge and drip truth that keep heads spinning for days.

Maybe he's feeling nostalgic about a time in his youth when seeing Otis Redding, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Wilosn Picket, Jackie Wilson, B.B. King, Johnny Taylor, Sam & Dave and Sam Cooke and others was something it seemed everyone did on weekends, when everyone got to know each other as they saw the best talent that America had to offer, and when it seemed the greatest musical talent in the world looked just like him.

Maybe it's because the daddy misses the scent of Georgia pines, the warm smiles of the folks (white and black), the smell of soul food from warm kitchens. But the daddy is especially feeling the late James Brown, that part in his show, toward the end, when he would sing "Georgia on my mind."

I know: some of you say Ray Charles has the dibs on this number. But not so fast. After all, the daddy is talking about soul broa #1 here. And remember: JB was not only a great performer but a great bandleader as well; and his arrangement of "Georgia on my mind" is exquisite soul, soul as art, soul as emotions captured and molded in time, dream and reality elevated to a new synthesis, making life more complete. Whole.

Maybe he's nostalgic, but see for yourself. Click on the name James Brown, listen to his version of "Georgia on my mind" and answer these two questions from the daddy:

1. Where's your Georgia?
2. Does an old sweet song keep it on your mind?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can't get no good collard greens in Minnesota, huh Daddy? Poor thing.

Anonymous said...

Love the violins on his version!

My Georgia? Ireland-- with it's 40 shades of green. And "Galway Bay" brings me back there quicker than you can say Erin go bragh!

nicki nicki tembo said...

Right on Daddy! That is a shonuff sweet, soulful serenade. Questionably the best rendition I've ever heard. Keep on bringin' it Daddy!

rainywalker said...

Down the road and yes. You are very lucky man to have seen all those artists in person. I enjoyed the food and music in Georgia when I lived there for two years. Good backhome people. I wish I had some old folks left, they were wonderful to listen to.

Anonymous said...

As I’m sure you know, you were in an enviable position to have seen such great artists-- so often and so close to home. That’s a lot to be grateful for!

Lois

Anonymous said...

I got your collards, daddy and I owe you. "Please Please Please" (JB)say sommore. I Listened to JB through your link and much more of the 60--70's I haven't heard probably since then. Great way to spend the "Oh What a Night" (The Dells),with memories of good music, old loves...I'm "Hypnotized" (Linda Jones)and "Ooh Baby Baby (Smokie), bring more reviews and links and "I'll Stay in My [your]Corner" (The Dells) Hotdamn, shonuff sweet stuff!
jah

Anonymous said...

Dear MacDaddy:

I thoroughly enjoyed your piece on the late, greater Soul Brother #1 James Brown. As you probably know, I have all of his recordings, and he personally sent me two autographed albums on his own private label back in the 80's. We used to talk quite a bit. I called him "Mr. Brown". He seemed to like the fact that "a youngster like you knows how to respect his elders and legends". He actually said that! In his case, both were true: I looooooooooooooooooooooved me some James Brown and still do!! Now, to the heart of the article and the two-part query you posed to your reading list: "Where's your Georgia?" Mine is a place called Fort Smith, Arkansas. The particular place is 901 North 11th Street, 1123 North 8th Street (which still stands and has the beloved person still living there part time-she is 97!!), and most of all, 2136 North 13th Street, the address of my dear departed Aunt June, who taught me what good music really was. Living in Fort Smith off and on during the 60's, we only heard the Motown sound when we were in the car as Aunt June's picks played in all of those homes. She was our "BILLBOARD". They bought what she bought, because her house was the hub of all things "hip". This is where I heard Nancy Wilson for the first time. Where I heard "The Sermon" in its full length by Jimmy Smith, where I heard the "Kind Of Blue" and all the other Miles Davis records. It was also where I learned how to respect the music of Mahalia Jackson on Sundays, where I heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's "Messiah" album, and where I heard most of all the great tunes of Dinah Washington.

Thanks again. James

MacDaddy said...

James: I've always been impressed with your knowledge of music. Now, I'm blown away to hear that you got all his albums (two of them signed by soul brotha #1 himself); and you got to talk to him. You are blessed. Hey, keep checking in on my blog and commenting, especially on my music posts.

I have a number of people who know music come to this blog, including musicians. You'll be in good company. Blessings, my brotha.

Rosemary said...

Good post.

MacDaddy said...

rosemary: Welcome. Thanks for the complement. Come again.