By now many of you have seen “Get on Up,” the James Brown biopic. When the movie ended I left the theater in tears. I had no idea that his life as a young child was so rough. For decades I have been a huge Brown fan. To this very day I can put my hands on my 45 records by Brown. Many of them have his photograph on the label. His photo appears on the Polydor Label and the King Label and it says “this is a James Brown Production.” Most of the songs I have are by Brown, however, “I Got You, I Feel Good” is James Brown and the Famous Flames. It also mentions on this label that the song is from his movie “Ski Party.” I need to rent that movie ASAP.
Seeing “Get On Up” took me back to my high school days when my classmate was a very tall skinny red head by the name of Eric Leeds. Leeds had a brother named Alan and he was Brown’s tour manager for a time. If you saw the movie you might remember the part when Brown took his records to a deejay by the name of Alan Leeds. Through conversations with my friend Leeds, he found out how much I liked Brown and when Brown came to Pittsburgh, two tickets to the concert appeared on my desk. The reason that the Leeds family was in Pittsburgh was due to his dad being an executive at Gimbels Department store in downtown Pittsburgh. Leeds went on to play saxophone for Prince and produced several albums of his own.