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James Brown, Featuring Charles Sherrell: Live on The Hollywood Palace

James Brown had tons of hits, and nearly every one of them was driven by an outstanding bass line. This clip from 1969 on The Hollywood Palace proves just that.

After being introduced by Sammy Davis, Jr., Brown and his band tear through a medley of “I Got the Feelin,” “Cold Sweat,” “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud,” “Give It Up or Turn It Loose,” and “Please, Please, Please.” The group’s infectious energy is anchored by bassist “Sweet” Charles Sherrell, who leads the groove from the back of the bandstand.

This incarnation of Brown’s band would split a year after this performance, but the lineup is certainly one of the strongest of all time.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed Bernard Odum as the bassist. Thank you to bass legend and James Brown expert Christian McBride for the correction.

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Share your thoughts

Trey Smith

Damn…so tight! Cool Vox Phantom bass too!

    Clutch

    Clutch

    I was in Hong Kong for a few days in the 60’s and almost picked up a Phantom. Almost… I decided to spend my money foolishly instead.

    grrg63

    grrg63

    Dont really know if its true but I read somewhere that JB got some kind of endorsement deal from Vox for a while so whoever was playing guitar & bass had to use a Vox on stage.

Michael Hamer

His show is still the best that here ever was! I saw him a year before this performance, at Madison Square Garden, in the round. To this day, it is still the best concert that I’ve ever seen. The band was tight, and James danced on every square inch of the stage. (it was a huge stage!)
Thanks for sharing!

Steven Smith

ooooooo weeee!!! james is the originator of funk! he had such a high standard on the tight groove. nothing less. love this vid!

mickeygalipoly

As Pro. Bass player i am amazed listing to the bass lines ,

Ella Adams

That song Cold Sweat still bring the house down!! Terrific raw drummer n that Bass humming!!

Anthony Cook

And I FEEL GOOD ! There is only one James Brown …He is the Funkified one ! Bass on !!

Mike Matthews

Mike Matthews

First off, that’s just tight, solid grooving. Second, I couldn’t help and recall some of the ‘old school’ SNL episodes with Eddie Murphy’s ‘Hot Tub’ skit. CLASSIC !

christianmcbride

Kevin, Christian McBride here. Listen, that’s not Bernard Odum on this clip. It’s Charles Sherrell (aka “Sweet Charles” Sherrell). Bernard Odum is playing on the ’68 Hollywood Palace clip, not the ’69.

grrg63

grrg63

Dont really know if its true but I read somewhere that JB got some kind of endorsement deal from Vox for a while so whoever was playing guitar & bass had to use a Vox on stage.

JB Carbou

The dancer in the back next to the drums! Haha, So funky!