Posted by themusicsover.com on September 12, 2009
August 15, 1934 – September 12, 2007
Bobby Byrd was a young gospel and soul singer when, in 1952 while playing in a baseball game against the prisoners of a Georgia prison, he met inmate, James Brown. Brown was reportedly singing for the other inmates. Byrd was so impressed that he helped arrange for Brown’s parole. Over the next 20 years, Byrd helped guide Brown’s career while singing and writing songs with him. He was the leader of Brown’s back-up group, theBlue Flames. Byrd released his own records in the ’70s. His music has been sampled by the likes of Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, and LL Cool J. Bobby Byrd died of cancer at the age of 73.
Bobby Byrd “I Need Help” Part 1 & 2 (1970)
This his first album, is a good expression of his talents and his hit single “I Need Help” is a fitting title for the album.In 1952 Bobby Byrd was playing baseball against the inmates of the Alto Reformatory prison team and met the music mad James Brown apparently showing off his singing to other inmates. Byrd befriended him and arranged for Byrd’s family to oversee Brown’s parole. It began a personal and professional association that lasted until 1973 and although Byrd had twenty years plus as a solo performer it is his association with Brown for which he is chiefly remembered. Brown was a remarkable tour de force of vitality and personality and within a short time he had not only joined the Avons but he was directing affairs changing their name to The Flames. Byrd recognised early that Brown was unique and that it would be impossible to control him ‘I didn’t need him in competition, I needed him with me, that’s why I worked so hard to get him over to my group’