Every Appearance James Brown Ever Made On Soul Train. So Nice, So Nice!

Are you ready for some Super Brother Music for the Soul?

Yes? How fortuitous! We just happen to have 45 minutes worth of James Brown Soul Train appearances from the early-to-mid-’70s to share. Get down!

It's worth noting that Brown's band, the JBs, were the only ones in the history of the show who host Don Cornelius trusted to play live. The Godfather of Soul ran a tight ship, fining band members for sour notes and untidy costumes, and it shows. The dance show's stage was tight, but the performances here are even tighter, as lean and mean as those funkadelic Curtis Gibson ensembles!

If your New Year's Eve plans pale in comparison with the playlist below, cancel them and stay in. Feel good. So good. We got you.

Hot Pants

Get Up (I Feel Like A) Sex Machine 2:36

Get On The Good Foot 4:06

Soul Power 6:51

Make It Funky 9:53

Cold Sweat 11:07

Try Me 14:22

Please Please, Please 17:21

Say It Loud I’m Black and I’m Proud 17:57

Super Bad 23:53  (featuring Soul Train Gang dancer Damita Jo Freeman's insane Robot)

Papa Don’t Take No Mess 26:18

My Thang 29:57

Hell 33:33 (the little girl sharing the stage is Brown's daughter, Deanna)

The Payback 35:57

Damn Right, I Am Somebody 40:25 (with Fred Wesley & the JB’s)

via That Eric Alper

Related Content: 

James Brown Gives You Dancing Lessons: From The Funky Chicken to The Boogaloo

James Brown Saves Boston After MLK’s Assassination, Calls for Peace Across America (1968)

James Brown Brings Down the House at the Paris Olympia, 1971

Ayun Halliday is the author of seven books, including No Touch Monkey! And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late  and the Zinester's Guide to NYC. Follow her @AyunHalliday


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  • Olivia says:

    “Can I make it Funky”? Love this!

  • Robert McConnaughy says:

    Al Green also played live on Soul Train.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngrXi5Dwk2I#t=28

  • Jim williams says:

    I only saw James once live at a free concert in Central Park MC’d by Al Sharpton who was, of course and best employed as James’ road manager for several years and who was famously convinced by Brother James to pomade his hair straight back as it is still today.

    James was the best that day as always. The orchestra was tight and I mean tight, Unh! James would point his finger to the sky and the entire orchestra would start and stop instantly without any notice which musicians know is not at all easy. Look how closely the drummer behind James is watching him in the opening video herein! James must have performed for at the least an hour and a half with all of the classics covered. However, what was so truly impressive was the obvious caliber of the “band” which was closer to orchestra than not and, of course, James himself.

    Born in a house of ill repute in New Orleans, raised by his mother’s sister in that house, ugly as sin itself, musical genius, realist, friend to Richard Nixon, Boston civic leader, patriot, rounder, brilliant, and a take no prisoners type of guy: the one, the only, James Brown.

  • Nita Reynolds says:

    Can somebody tell what happened to the girl who got on stage w/him and danced to Superbad? I would really like to know. I really enjoyed her dancing, and I post the video to see her every so often. I miss James so much. I’m a white lady, and I saw him in Dallas years ago.

  • roman broadus says:

    the legend the one and only
    James Super Bad Brown
    Godfather of funk

    He has since passed on like we all must do his music lives on every show
    every performance is eye catching,if you listen to the drummer,if you listen
    to the bass and horns they all sync-up together,he is truly a music pioneer
    his music will live on forever.Funk don’t stop it keeps going and going

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