For twenty years Bobby Byrd was James Brown’s right-hand man. In the latter part of this time he recorded some groundbreaking funk such as the much-sampled ‘I Know You Got Soul’ produced by Brown. Before that he had spent the 1960s recording a series of 45s, all produced by Brown. This is the first-ever compilation of that work.
Byrd’s family helped rescue Brown from his time in prison in the early 50s. Byrd then let Brown join his vocal group which was the starting point for his singing career. Byrd led his backing group the Famous Flames from this point on.
When Brown had established himself well enough to make records with members of his revue, Byrd was top of the list of those he wanted to record. This compilation shows the power of both Brown as a producer and Byrd as a singer. 24 songs have Brown pushing the sound of R&B and soul, looking for the next successful direction for his music.
These recordings, released on Federal, Smash and King, are the missing links in the development of James Brown’s music and, as such, are historically important as well as fantastically good music.