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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Comments (6)
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  • Olivia says:

    “Can I make it Funky”? Love this!

  • Robert McConnaughy says:

    Al Green also played live on Soul Train.


  • 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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