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Bobby Byrd – 1970 – I Need Your Help

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Bobby Byrd I nned Help front

The stunning only album ever from the great Bobby Byrd – know to many as a longtime associate of James Brown, and finally getting his chance to shine here in the spotlight! Bobby was in the game before James, and always continued to change his groove in all the right ways with The Godfather – so this late 60s recording has Byrd coming across just like the best last James Brown material on King – with production from James, and backing from the same group too! There’s loads of classics here that went onto become huge funky 45s over the years – and big sample cuts too – and titles include “I Need Help (I Can’t Do It Alone) (parts 1 & 2)”, “Funky Soul”.

Bobby Byrd I nned Help back

James Brown’s right hand man, Bobby Byrd is probably the world’s tightest hype man.   It’s him that the Godfather is performing some call-and-response with on “Get Up Get Into It Get Involved“, “Licking Stick“, “Make It Funky“,”Talking Loud and Saying Nothing” and “Soul Power” among others, the gravy to JB’s grit.  In this capacity, he was essentially providing the support he’d always given to Brother James, dating back to when his family took in the young singer upon his release from jail and essentially made him a family member.  It’s not often mentioned, but the Famous Flames were Byrd’s group prior to Brown’s galvanizing persona requiring his name to get top billing. 

Byrd never seemed to take it hard, rolling with Brown off and on until settling in at the end of the 60s.   In this time, Brown’s band was in constant flux, and in need of a steadying influnce.  Byrd was right there to provide some necessary guidance, adding some extra flavor to James’ aforementioned sessions.

His cameo appearances led to him being given a priviliged position on JB’s Brownstone label.  Finally getting the chance to shine on his own, Byrd came up strong with “I Know You Got Soul“, “Hot Pants I’m Coming I’m Coming I’m Coming” and “If You Got A Love“.  Some of these records were the best of Brown’s outside productions. 

Byrd had officially departed Brown’s camp by 1974, formally ending a relationship that had built over many years.  Brown was married to fellow JB affiliate Vicki Anderson and their child is Carleen Anderson, who recorded one solo album and subsequently joined the Brand New Heavies for a spell.