Welcome To Graceland

My son had never visited Graceland and his girlfriend is visiting so I thought it would be time to go. I’ve been 2 times before…once in the 80s and again in the mid-nineties. We stayed in the Exchange Building in Memphis…a building that is 112 years old. If you are looking for a place in Memphis, it’s listed under Air B&Bs…I would recommend this place…love the architecture.

We got to Graceland on Saturday and it was crowded of course…and the price has more than doubled in the past 10 years from what I read. It’s now $77 (80 with tax) dollars per person for a house visit plus the planes and different exhibits. Compared to the 90s…it’s enough items to keep you busy at least 2 1/2 to 3 hours easy…still that is steep when you have a few people.

You get through the house in 30 minutes or so…at least we did. It’s the huge new complex they built to house most of his items that takes a lot of time.

I’m going to show as many pictures as possible but two exhibits surprised this Beatles fan. They had a section called “Icons” and the artists that were influenced by Elvis. They had many things on loan from The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. I got to see the piano that John Lennon wrote a lot of Double Fantasy on and a vest and Marshall amp from no other than Jimi Hendrix. Also a James Brown outfit, KISS items, Joe Perry, Buddy Holly, and a leather jacket from Bruce Springsteen.

You can google Graceland and get most of the pics inside the house but here are a few…I like the yellow man cave. After this, we took a walk on Beale Street which was really cool. Next time I’m allowing more time. Sun Studios and Buford Pusser’s place in McNairy country are places I wanted to see also.

You should be able to click on the pictures and see all of them one at a time if you want.

Here are some of the exhibits

Last but not least…Elvis’s outfits…it looked like a giant doll’s house.

James Brown – It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World

James Brown was the man. Not many go on a stage and leave everything on it like he did. He drove his band hard, really hard to follow him. I so wish I could have seen this man live in concert. Every song he did sound as if it were a sermon coming from a pulpit.

That’s not to say that trouble didn’t find Brown or that Brown didn’t find trouble every so often. In 1963 in Macon, Georgia, James Brown attempted to shoot his musical rival Joe Tex. It seemed Tex had done a parody of Brown on stage, and James didn’t like it. The incident caused people to get shot and stabbed. Brown got his agent and a few thousand dollars to make the situation disappear. When the shootout was over, each one of the injured was given one hundred dollars apiece not to carry it no further and not to talk to the press. Brown was never charged for the incident.

James Brown first recorded this song in June of 1964 in Chicago under the title “It’s a Man’s World”. But it was Brown’s second version of the song, retitled in 1966 that became a hit, with the final title echoing the Oscar-winning It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.  The music was written by James Brown and most of the lyrics by Betty Jean Newsome.

The lyrics to the song emerged from a road trip tour James Brown was on with his backup singer, Betty Jean Newsome. She has said they were on a 20-hour drive from Harlem, through South Carolina, and further west into the Deep South.

In 1963 Brown co-wrote “I Cried” with Famous Flames bandmate Bobby Byrd The song was recorded by 18-year-old Tammy Montgomery, who had been a backup singer with the James Brown Revue in live concerts. Later on, she would become Tammi Terrell. He used the same chord progression for It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World.

The song peaked at #1 on The Billboard R&B Charts, #8 on the Billboard 100, #25 in Canada, and #13 in the UK in 1966.

It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s, World

This is a man’s world, this is a man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

You see, man made the cars to take us over the road
Man made the train to carry the heavy load
Man made electric light to take us out of the dark
Man made the boat for the water, like Noah made the ark

This is a man’s, man’s, man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

Man thinks about our little bitty baby girls and our baby boys
Man made them happy, ’cause man made them toys
And after man make everything, everything he can
You know that man makes money, to buy from other man

This is a man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing, not one little thing, without a woman or a girl
He’s lost in the wilderness
He’s lost in bitterness, he’s lost lost

James Brown – Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag

Happy Father’s Day! I hope everyone has a great day.

I do miss my dad…this is Christmas 1975…yea I’m the dork beside him.


James Brown = The MAN

James Brown recorded this song in one take…the released version was supposed to be a run-through, but sounded so good it was kept anyway.

Brown, who still hadn’t memorized the song’s lyrics, read from a sheet in front of him at the beginning of the original take, he can be heard saying “There’s a lot of words here, man.” He also can be heard exclaiming “This is a hit!” just before the band kicks in.

The song peaked at #8 in the Billboard 100 and #1 in the R&B Charts in 1965.

This song was followed by  “I Got You (I Feel Good),” which quickly became Brown’s biggest hit (until “Living in America” was released in 1985) as it went to #3 on the Hot 100.

This won a Grammy for Best R&B Recording of 1965. It was also inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.

From Songfacts

A “bag” is slang for a way of doing something or a kind of lifestyle. It was a popular saying in the ’60s, especially among musicians, who wouldn’t describe songs as being “in an R&B bag” or “in a doo-wop bag.”

In this song, James Brown sings about coming up with a new “bag,” meaning a completely different way of approaching music. Inspired by what he heard in church, he punctuated the music on the downbeat, creating his “brand new bag.”

In March 1965, after a legal battle with King Records, Brown agreed to a new contract with a higher royalty rate than their previous agreement, plus Brown’s own publishing company and complete artistic control. Brown promptly went into a Charlotte, North Carolina, studio and cut “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.”

King Records executive Syd Nathan gave a copy of this to New York DJ Frankie Cocker, who hated the new James Brown style but was impressed with the response when he put it on the air anyway. When King Records released the track as a single, Smash Records, the label Brown had leased some of his songs to that prompted the lawsuit, released an instrumental version of the song. As part of the ruling, Smash Records could release only instrumental versions of Brown’s songs.

Brown had recorded the very similar sounding “Out Of Sight” for Smash earlier that year, violating his King contract. James retooled the song, using a riff his band had been playing live, as a peace offering to King.

The original song was about seven minutes long, moved at a slower pace, and featured a more elaborate intro. After the song was cut, Brown sliced off most of the intro, sped the song up to get it played on pop radio, and broke it up into three parts (the second of which can be heard on the flipside of the original single).

The vocal version reached #8 in the US. It was the first Top 10 hit for the Godfather of Soul, and marked a departure from his early music toward the definition of his signature sound. Horns are used for percussive effect, and Brown’s vocals are tightly attached to the overall instrumental mix.

Dancing was a big part of James Brown’s stage show, and he often referred to dances in the lyrics to his songs. The dance crazes mentioned in this one are: The Jerk, The Fly, The Monkey, The Mashed Potatoes, The Alligator, The Twist, and the Boomerang.

Artists to record this song include Pat Boone, Freddy Cannon, Georgie Fame, Quincy Jones, L.A. Guns, Willie Mitchell, Pigbag, Otis Redding, Roger, Jimmy Smith, The Ventures, Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. 

Brown’s longtime sax player Maceo Parker played baritone sax on this track, and Maceo’s older brother Melvin was the drummer. The guitar, which is most prominent when it answers Brown’s chorus line, came courtesy of Jimmy Nolen.

This was performed in Beat the Devil, one of a series of BMW films (see it at YouTube). Faced with the problem of viewers skipping past commercials or simply ignoring them, BMW decided to make short films starring their products that people would choose to watch. James Brown stars in this one.

This was used in the 1993 Robin Williams film Mrs. Doubtfire. 


Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag

Come here sister, Papa’s in the swing
He ain’t too hip, about that new breed babe
He ain’t no drag
Papa’s got a brand new bag

Come here mama, and dig this crazy scene
He’s not too fancy, but his line is pretty clean
He ain’t no drag
Papa’s got a brand new bag

He’s doing the Jerk
He’s doing the Fly
Don’t play him cheap ’cause you know he ain’t shy
He’s doing the Monkey, the Mashed Potatoes
Jump back Jack, See you later alligator

Come here sister
Papa’s in the swing
He ain’t too hip now
But I can dig that new breed babe
He ain’t no drag
He’s got a brand new bag

Oh papa! He’s doing the Jerk
Papa, he’s doing the Jerk
He’s doing the twist, just like this
He’s doing the Fly every day and every night
The thing’s, like the Boomerang
Hey, come on
Hey! Hey, come on
Hey! Hey, he’s put tight, out of sight
Come on. Hey! Hey!

Joe Tex – I Gotcha

My sister…lover of the Osmonds and everything unholy in music to me…somehow had this fun R&B groove single by Joe Tex. The song peaked at #2 in 1972 in the Billboard 100.

“I Gotcha” shows more than a  little James Brown influence. Some say it wasn’t just influence but more than a little mocking. The two, who sometimes shared a stage, feuded quite a bit…dating back to the 50s. Tex said Brown copied his moves and later stole his girlfriend, Brown didn’t like the way Tex made fun of him. This supposedly led to an incident where allegedly Brown used a gun to fire a few rounds at Tex in a nightclub, then pay off the patrons with $100 bills so they wouldn’t call the police.

The battle began in earnest when James Brown stole Tex’s girlfriend, Bea Ford. Then, just to twist the knife, Brown sent Tex a letter telling him that he was through with the Bea and Joe could have her back. This led to the record “You Keep Her”, where Joe calls James out by name, saying he was better off without the Bea anyway.

Eventually, the two patched things up enough for Joe to write the line: “If I was a dancefloor, James Brown could mash potatoes on me all night long!”

From Songfacts

This was Joe Tex’s highest-charting career single as far as the Billboard Hot 100 was concerned. It is all original Joe Tex, in his own absolutely inimitable style – he’s known as one of the precursors of rap music.

While Joe Tex may have been charting on the Hot 100 since 1965, his previous highest score had been #5 for his breakout single “Hold What You’ve Got”. Since that time, he’d barely tasted the Top-10. This song was actually the B-side of “A Mother’s Prayer” – Radio station DJs would flip it and play this side instead, giving him his highest-charting hit.

We have yet another Tarantino hit! The film Reservoir Dogs features this song prominently. It’s used for the scene where three of the robbers transport the hostage cop to their warehouse hideaway, where they proceed to beat the nickels out of him, both because they suspect they were set up and just to work off some frustration after their robbery plan goes to pieces. The action is even choreographed to the music a little; watch Michael Madsen pulling off a length of duct tape in time to the lyrics for a beat or two.

Joe Tex re-recorded “I Gotcha” for his 1978 album Rub Down, this time as a ballad.


I Gotcha

I gotcha, uh huh, huh
You thought I didn’t see ya now, didn’t ya, uh huh, huh
You tried to sneak by me now, didn’t ya, uh huh, huh
Now gimme what you promised me, give it here
Come on


Good God



You promised me the day that you quit your boyfriend
I’d be the next one to ease on in
You promised me it would be just us two, yeah
I’d be the only man kissin’ on you, yeah
Now, kiss me
Hold it a long time, hold it
Don’t turn it a-loose, now hold it
A little bit longer, now hold it
Come on

Hold it
Hold it
Hold it
Hold it
Now ease up on me now, good god

Good God

The girl’s alright, y’all
Ha ha

Good God

You made me a promise and you’re gonna stick to it
You shouldn’t have promised if you weren’t gonna do it
You saw me and ran in another direction
I’ll teach you to play with my affection
Now, give it here

You never should’ve promised to me, give it here
Don’t hold back, now give it here
Don’t say nothin’, just give it here
Come on, give it here

Give it here
Give it here
Give it here
Give it to me, now

Good God


I gotcha
Shouldn’t made a promise to me
I gotcha

You never should’ve promised to me, gotcha
Give it on, here
I gotcha

You thought you got away from me, didn’t ya?
I gotcha
Ha ha ha
Oh, I gotcha

Give it on up, I gotcha
Give it on here, I gotcha

You tried to sneak by me, now didn’t ya?
Ha ha
I gotcha
Oh, I gotcha