Air Week: December 2-8, 2019

James Brown: 1956-58

This week, the Juke In The Back celebrates its 500th episode. Matt The Cat marks the milestone with a very special show on one of R&B and Rock n’ Roll’s greatest acts, James Brown. Born into a poor community in South Carolina, James Brown worked his way to the very top in the entertainment business, but it wasn’t without a struggle. As we’ll hear on this week’s program, Brown had to suffer through a mess of unsuccessful records, in order to find his “sound.” His first single for Federal Records, “Please, Please, Please” caught fire and shot into the R&B top 5 in 1956, but it was a blessing and a curse. He wouldn’t make the charts again for almost 3 years. But once “Try Me” topped the R&B lists in early 1959, Brown was on a roll that would extend over the next 20 plus years. Matt The Cat highlights James Brown and the Famous Flame’s string of early singles for Federal as we bear witness to an artist trying to find himself. Along the way, we discover some pretty great and almost forgotten songs and performances. The early recordings of the “Godfather of Soul” are featured on this week’s “Juke In The Back.”