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Great moments in incongruence ... James Brown at the Opry

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Bubbler, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    The XM/Sirius merge has been wildly disappointing as set lists, DJs, etc., become homogenized, but once in a while, the service pays for itself with one listening.

    Driving home from an assignment on Saturday, I was in the mood for something different, so I flipped the channel to Outlaw Country and Marty Stuart's show was on. It was a tribute show to the late Porter Wagoner, itself a fascinating listen, as I had no idea how good Wagoner was. Check out Rubber Room by Wagoner, an amazing, haunting, psychedelic slice of country. I've never heard anything like it.

    Interspersed in the show was a clip highlighting Wagoner's days at the Grand Ole Opry. Stuart mentioned that Wagoner was a lover of all forms of music and invited James Brown to play the Opry. Brown, a country music fan from birth, happily accepted. This was in 1979.

    Knowing country audiences from that era as I do -- I was an avid country fan when I lived in Texas from 1980-82 -- that must have been some sell job by Wagoner to get Brown on the show. Hell, if Brown were still alive, it would be a helluva of a sell job now. Eddie Murphy's cowboy bar scene from 48 Hours would have nothing on JB at the Opry.

    Stuart's intro of the clip mentioned how deferential Brown was in his love of country, so I figured given the venue and with Brown knowing the audience would be apprehensive at best, he'd tone things down. Maybe do a countrified version of Try Me or something.

    Not the Godfather of Soul.

    He comes out of the gate with an absolutely smokin' version of Get Up Offa That Thing. It was one of the greatest clips I've ever heard.

    I did a little research and it does mention in some of Brown's obit stories that he played the Opry, but they didn't mention Get Up Offa That Thing in his set list, so I thought maybe Stuart fudged it with a song JB didn't actually perform at the Opry.

    Then I found this summary on a blog ...

    God I wish I could have been there for that. That must have been an amazing performance for a lot of different reasons. I love incongruence.
  2. Flip Wilson

    Flip Wilson Well-Known Member

    I would love to hear/see that clip.
  3. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Unless a descending set piece bopped him on the head and knocked him on his ass, Bret Michaels at the Tony Awards has him beat.
  4. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    TSP, no way. Bret Michaels at the Tony Awards actually makes sense in this day and age. James Brown at the Grand Ole Opry, performing his own material, would have been the pinnacle of wide-eyed, jaw-dropping, head-shaking, Roy Acuff heart attack-causing astonishment.

    No, scratch "would have been." Insert "is."
  5. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    And yes, incongruence is great. The word itself is great. I love to use "incongruous" in copy. :D
  6. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    The Godfather was behind the color line by 12 years:

  7. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Not nearly as shocking, but Springsteen and Phish teamed up for several songs at Bonnaroo on Sunday. I'd love to get a bootleg of that incongruence.
  8. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Nope. DeFord Bailey was a star on the show even before its name change from the WSM Barn Dance in 1927.


    Country-blues harp/harmonica playing at its absolute finest:

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