Study Guide

Papa's Got a Brand New Bag

Papa's Got a Brand New Bag Introduction

In a Nutshell

James Brown released his first record more than 50 years ago; your parents—or more likely your grandparents—danced to his music. 

But believe it or not, so do you. In fact, you're probably 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 several decades.

About the Song

ArtistBrown, James
Year1965
LabelKing
Writer(s)James Brown
Producer(s)James Brown
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)
Learn to play
AlbumPapa's Got a Brand New Bag

Music Video

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Influences on Brown, James

Ray Charles
Little Richard

Influenced by Brown, James

Michael Jackson
Sly Stone
Prince
George Clinton
The Isley Brothers
Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
David Bowie
The Who
Rick James

Papa's Got a Brand New Bag Resources

Images

Young James Brown
So dapper.

Mr. Dynamite
James Brown in concert.

Websites

The Ultimate Soul and Funk Music Database
For the most part, this site provides links to merchandise and chart information, but there is also a searchable database that provides access to articles on funk and soul artists.

Video & Audio

"Out of Sight"
Brown's 1964 song, released by Smash Records, that he reworked for King Records and released as "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag."

"Papa's Got a Brand New Bag"
Of course, we've got the audio track here.

"Funky Drummer"
The most frequently sampled rhythm break in music.

"Please, Please, Please"
This is James Brown's first record, released by Federal Records in 1956.