Sunday, August 12, 2012

Following our Saturday sojourn into the annals and recorded archives of the Godfather of Funk & Soul, Mr James Joe Brown Jr. we unearthed another two of his excursions into Cowboy Country and here they are:

First up from Brown’s 1974 LP ‘Reality’ is his version of ‘Don’t Fence Me In’ as originally made famous by Roy Rogers in 1944 and subsequently Bing Crosby and Gene Autry…

I really love Brown’s version as it not only encompasses the Pioneer spirit of Roy Rogers cut but also possesses a militant, African-American element; for me it’s his Black-American version of ‘This Land Is Your Land’… Hey, now imagine if he’d done a version of that?

It is also worth pointing out that the original song was written forty years previously by Cole Porter and even then was based predominantly on an original poem by Bob Fletcher who later sold Porter the publishing rights. Fletcher certainly lived to regret that move.

Secondly, we have James Brown’s version of Bill Anderson’s 1963 smash hit ‘Still’ from Brown's 1979 LP ’The Original Disco Man’.

Sadly other than maybe one or two tracks, ‘Still’ is the only redeeming feature of an otherwise signifier of Brown’s steady decline but I guess that was inevitable for someone who, hitherto, had reached such monumental heights combined with an equally mountainous Class A drug intake… We love you James.


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