The Godfather on the TV

James Brown appearing on Late Night with David Letterman circa 1985, singing a swing version of “Georgia on My Mind” :

Love Mr. Brown’s Hammond B3 solo! I saw this in reruns in 1986 or ’87. We got our first VHS recorder and it had a timer, so I set it to record Late Night with David Letterman every night. Almost fast forwarded through this the next day as I was more into The Smiths than soul. Blown away by the performance and having it seared in my memory, I’ve been doing a bi-annual search for this video since YouTube launched.

The rathole gets deeper…

I shared the above video with a couple of friends and got a quick response back, linking to this one:

Love the horns when it picks up at :27. You have to love Bootsy Collins tearing up the low end. This was the best lineup of the JBs… The contrast of James Brown working it and the quiet crowd is awesome. Contrast that crowd with one 11 years later:

I know it’s long. But it’s so worth it. The above 1982 episode is with the original lineup of the Late Night band that featured Letterman musical director & mainstay Paul Shaffer, guitarist Hiram Bullock, bassist Will Lee and drummer extraordinaire Steve Jordan.

Get on up.