Melvin Parker, finest referred to as James Brown‘s drummer, died at age 77 final week in Baltimore. He carried out on a bunch of Brown’s hits in the ’60s and ’70’s, together with “Out of Sight,” “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag,” “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “Get Up Offa That Thing.”
“The Parker household is within the course of of constructing preparations for a ultimate goodbye,” learn an obituary on the web site of. R. Swinson Funeral Services, positioned in Parker’s hometown of Kinston, N.C. “Let’s hold the Parker household in our ideas and prayers throughout this time of bereavement.”
“We misplaced one of many biggest [drummers] that flew underneath the radar,” wrote Bootsy Collins, who performed with Brown earlier than he joined Parliament-Funkadelic, on Facebook. “Thx u my brother Melvin for ur Gifts to the World & our time within the studio. R.I.P.”
Growing up, Parker and his siblings would carry out impromptu songs and performs for the adults within the household, setting the inspiration for his future profession. “Daddy would line us up within the entrance yard and educate us ‘left face’ and ‘proper face’ and ‘about face,’ and even doing half-lefts and half-rights and indirect strikes. And we might march to time,” Parker recalled of his childhood. “And he had us doing so nicely at time that we may do silent cadence … I should have been about 4 or 5 years outdated, and I may march to a silent cadence. But I didn’t notice that he was educating us time and rhythm.”
In 1962, whereas attending the Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina, Parker and his band had been enjoying an after-hours membership when Brown walked in. The Godfather of Soul was so impressed with Parker’s enjoying that he supplied him a job after commencement.
Shortly afterward, Parker’s brother, saxophonist Maceo Parker, additionally linked up with Brown. “A complete yr glided by, and we had been again in Kinston,” Maceo informed The Washington Post in 2019. “We’re considering, Let’s see if each of us can get a job with (*77*) Brown. We performed with different bands, however we had been ready for (*77*) Brown. We’re considering, how are we going to seek out him? When he got here to city [for a show], we rode across the perimeter of the [Greensboro] Coliseum till we noticed the limousine and rode in behind him.”
Listen to (*77*) Brown’s ‘Get Up Offa That Thing’
Melvin and Maceo Parker contributed to a number of of Brown’s hit data, although Melvin’s first run with the band ended within the mid ’60s when he was drafted. But he returned in 1969 and appeared on Brown’s basic Sex Machine album.
In 1970, a lot of Brown’s band, together with Melvin, walked out on their chief on account of financial disputes. Melvin then joined Maceo’s group at the time, Maceo & All the King’s Men, earlier than rejoining Brown briefly in 1976, at which period he performed on the hit “Get Up Offa That Thing.”
“The biggest drummer I ever had in my life was Melvin Parker,” Brown informed Mojo in 2004. “‘I Feel Good’, ‘Papa’s Bag’ – no person ever did that. Nobody. And they cannot do it now. And if I used to be on the brink of minimize a file that was proper, I’d go get Melvin right now, as a result of he is identical to a metronome.”
In Memoriam: 2021 Deaths
Remembering the musicians, actors, producers and others who’ve died in 2021.