Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag
In a Nutshell
In a Nutshell
James Brown released his first record more than fifty years ago; your parents—or more likely your grandparents—danced to his music. But believe it or not, so do you; in fact, you probably are more familiar with James Brown’s music than you realize. As the most widely sampled musician in hip-hop, Brown and his music live on.
Brown’s influence extends well beyond the bits and pieces of his work appropriated by contemporary performers, though. In 1965, he wrote and recorded “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” a song that turned R&B on its rhythmic head and launched a funk revolution that would transform the structure and focus of a large part of the music produced over the next forty years.
About the Song
||Musician(s)||James Brown (vocals), Jimmy "Chank" Nolen (guitar), Bernard Odum (bass), Clayton Fillyau (drums), Nat Jones (organ), Maceo Parker (tenor sax), St. Clair Pinckney (baritone sax), Joseph Davis (trumpet)
|Album||Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag|
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Explore the ways this song connects with the world and with other topics on Shmoop
James Brown’s 1965 hit “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” changed contemporary music forever. The popular African American music that came before Brown—namely Gospel, , R&B, and Jazz—would never be the same. , which Brown fused into his music as well, would also be powerfully affected.
But Brown’s influence was not restricted to his music. He used the platform provided by his star-power to weigh in on contemporary issues, most importantly civil rights. He allied himself with the peaceful phase of the movement in urging calm and restraint following the assassination of , but his criticism of “Hollywood negroes” and certain songs like "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud" revealed Brown’s sympathies with civil rights leaders who urged a
On the Charts
While James Brown was recording “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” back in 1965, he prophetically proclaimed, “This is a hit!” before the intro. The song reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (Brown’s first song to reach the Top Ten) and #1 on the R&B chart.