Words by: Anthony Walker. And the way he sings it, he sings it like a grown man. I think he has this magical thing in his voice that he put in the soul music. He made it erotic, you know what I mean? He was the ultimate soul singer — he had a falsetto, he had a groove, he had the right drummer. He made his own brand of soul music, but that song is so unforgettable, you know? To turn it into a Christmas song I just thought was genius. My father was a James Brown freak so I know every one of his songs, and to me, this was the best thing he ever did. It sends you to another place with that keyboard in there, and the way he sings it. Not the one with I Try on it, but an album I made that never came out, on Atlantic.
Charles Bradley - Changes (2015)
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Ike Turner – Rocket 88 (1951)
And while rockers like to say rock and headbanging was invented because metal kids are scared to dance, over the decades there have been a few notable examples of when people stopped getting hung up on labels and just enjoyed the goddamn music. Here then, a nice fistful of soul songs that rock. Or vice versa. Whatever man, just hit the dancefloor and go with it. And it was mostly by accident. Hard-living Florida soul singer Charles Bradley spent most of his life on the margins, working odd jobs, moving when they dried up, playing small clubs when he could get the gigs. Half a decade ago, he moved to New York City to get to know his aging mother and while he was there, he began moonlighting as a James Brown impersonator. During one of these low-key shows he was discovered by Daptone Records co-founder Bosco Mann and Bradley, now in his sixth decade, finally caught a break in this mean old world. The stunning video shows Bradley reacting to his own performance, tears welling up as he ponders the lyrics and how they relate to the passing of his mother.