Sunday, December 31, 2006

Tribute to the Godfather: Get on Down With Sunday Gospel Time!

Kay Robinson - The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow (Pts. 1 & 2)

In addition to the voluminous discography James Brown generated for himself, his production company would be responsible for a large number of 45s and albums on James Brown Revue members and others for a wide range of labels. (See this great Japanese site for a discography of JB and his productions.) The "A James Brown Production" logo graced recordings ranging from soul and funk to jazz (most notably the Bethlehem recordings of The Dee Felice Trio, which a funky jazz version of "There Was a Time") to comedy (Clay Tyson and Sad Sam) to country (the 1970 Starday LP Here I Am by Ronnie Thompson, then mayor of Macon) to gospel, as shown in today's selection.

Cincinnati gospel singer Kay Robinson had five James Brown-produced 45s and one LP (the highly-collectible We Need Time) released on King and Federal. She recorded the funky two-part "The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow" with the Bootsy-era J.B.'s in 1970. Although the aforementioned discography site shows the record being released as a two-part King 45, I've seen listings elsewhere that suggest that only Part 1 of the tune actually received commercial release, with both parts only appearing as one side of a King promotional 45. Fortunately, when Polydor released the James Brown's Original Funky Divas comp they included the whole thing, and it's a sure cooker. Robinson starts with a piano-backed monologue about the turbulent times ("we've lost so many good men - Dr. King, the Kennedys," she notes) but then the band kicks in and she rips into the song (with backup support from JB, Bobby Byrd, and Fayne Pridgeon), not letting up until the intro is reprised some five minutes later.

1 comment:

Red Kelly said...

absolutely fantastic, man... never heard this one!