Bobby Byrd  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Bobby Byrd (August 15 1934, Toccoa, Georgia – September 12 2007, Loganville, Georgia) was an African American musician and songwriter, best known as James Brown's longtime sideman and co-vocalist on songs such as Licking Stick – Licking Stick, Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine and Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved. Byrd also recorded many solo funk tracks, most famously I Know You Got Soul (1971), which have been sampled by musicians including Public Enemy, Eric B. & Rakim, Ice Cube, LL Cool J and A Tribe Called Quest. He was the original leader and founder of The Famous Flames, the vocal group with which James Brown first became famous. Byrd is actually the man who discovered James Brown.

Bobby Byrd and James Brown met in a Georgia youth detention facility. Brown was an inmate, Byrd was not. Byrd's local baseball team played the prison team of which Brown was a member. It was Bobby Byrd's family that sponsored his release and took him in afterwards.

Byrd was leader of a vocal group called The Avons when Brown joined in the mid-1950s. The Avons later became The Flames, then The Famous Flames, before they were repackaged with Brown as the frontman. James Brown and the Famous Flames, with Byrd as a member, recorded many hit songs, including Please, Please, Please,"Try Me", Think, Bewildered, Oh Baby, Don't You Weep, I'll Go Crazy, and many more. Brown and The Flames were also known for their powerful on stage performances across the United States in venues such as the Apollo Theater in New York,(where they recorded the million-selling " Live At The Apollo" LP) the Regal in Chicago,and The Royal Theatre in Baltimore (where they recorded the 1964 Top 10 Pop live album "Pure Dynamite: Live at the Royal}, among numerous other concert venues, and on film in the 1964 concert film the T.A.M.I. Show, where Brown, Byrd, and the other Famous Flames (Bobby Bennett and "Baby Lloyd" Stallworth) upstaged The Rolling Stones. Byrd also appeared with Brown and the group in the 1965 Frankie Avalon motion picture Ski Party, Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and twice on The Ed Sullivan Show. Byrd was the only member of The Flames to remain with Brown when the group disbanded in 1968.

He was married to soul singer Vicki Anderson, another James Brown collaborator. His step-daughter is Carleen Anderson.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bobby Byrd" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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