December 4: James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good)” tops the R&B chart

“I Got You (I Feel Good)” started as a track named “I Found You” that Brown produced for his backup singer Yvonne Fair, which he then remade for himself as “I Got You” in 1964. He performed it in The TAMI Show, Shindig, and most incongruously, the Frankie Avalon movie Ski Party, literally the whitest movie possible to showcase Brown’s constantly undulating legs. But because of a legal dispute with his record label, a judge blocked him from releasing that version. After his “Papa’s” epiphany, he cut an updated version in Miami on May 6. More saber-toothed screaming, more sax, more pulsating, dive-bombing bass from Bernard Odum. It was possibly the most avant-garde bass line to cut through the radio to date. Released in October, “I Got You” made it to No. 3 on the Billboard pop chart and was No. 1 R&B for six weeks.

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