500 Greatest Songs of All Time


James Brown and His Famous Flames, 'Please, Please, Please'

Writers: Brown, Johnny Terry
Producer: Ralph Bass
Released: Feb. '56, Federal
2 weeks; No. 95

On parole after three years in a Georgia juvenile pen, Brown hooked up with the Famous Flames for his debut single: a screaming burst of R&B. It had been in the Flames' act for two years before they put down a demo, which caught the ear of talent scout Bass. He signed the group to King/Federal Records, despite label head Syd Nathan's opinion that the song was "a piece of shit." Kicking off with Brown's shriek, the single drove women wild and became his set-closer, but the Flames, feeling upstaged, quit the act a year later.

Appears on: 50th Anniversary Collection (UTV/Polydor)


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