Trying To Get To You

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bobby Byrd: 1934-2007

Bobby Byrd, the man who collaborated and worked with James Brown longer than any musician, died yesterday at his home in Georgia, at the age of 73. It is Byrd's voice that can be heard in some of Brown's classic singles, such as "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine," and "Licking Stick - Licking Stick."

Byrd first met Brown in 1952 when Brown was in a youth detention facility. Byrd (who was not an inmate) played baseball on a team that faced Brown's. Byrd also saw Brown perform with his prison group. The two struck up a conversation about music, became friendly and then Byrd's family sponsored James' release and had him move in with them.

Byrd was the lead vocalist of a group called the Avons, which became the Flames and then the Famous Flames when it was reconfigured to be fronted by the Godfather. Byrd served as James' warm up act for years in addition to performing with Brown's various bands. And like many who played with Brown, the years were not always smooth, with their fair share of fighting, both in and out of the courtroom. (Byrd sued Brown on several occasions, stating that he never got his share of royalties for songs that he had written.)

But no matter what, Byrd will always have a very special place in American music history: He was the man who first discovered the talent of James Brown.

Buy Bobby Byrd at Amazon
Download: James Brown "Licking Stick - Licking Stick"


ep said...

thanks for taking a moment to remember Bobby. everybody who loves the funk should definitely take a moment to say "yeah!" one time for Byrd.

Anonymous said...

Bobby although you are gone you will never be forgotten, I am glad the last words we said to one another was I love you, I will see you again one day big brother until then RIP.
Always love and respect,
Miss Soul

Anonymous said...

"I know you got soul...if you didn't you wouldn't be in here!" - Bobby Byrd, RIP.

Anonymous said...

HEY,POPS don't give them a hard time God gotcha so you can be the 1 hype man for the heaveny choir. I Love You forever , your God-Daughter - LaRhonda "Peaches" Brown I still quote That's A Good thang