I wonder what was James Brown’s idea of being “on the good foot?”. He is credited with being the Godfather of Soul and a pioneer of funk music. His music and performance style have been sampled and imitated by countless artists and musicians he worked with have played an important role in creating the core vocabulary and grammar of funk music.
Looking at his life which included very humble beginnings, three years of prison as a teen, countless professional achievements (Grammy awards, Hall of Fame election) and multiple troubled marriages, it is unclear what part of his life he would have described as being “on the good foot.” What is unquestionable is that the sound and lyrics of his music elicit something in the listener that simply makes us want to dance!
In commemoration of James Brown’s May 3rd birthday, there is a Facebook post of three young girls dancing to his song “Get On the Good Foot.” The video truly captures the impact of funk music on the listener, and how funk music clearly transcends the generations. I suspect these young girls were not routine listeners of the song, but the music clearly triggered an instinct in them that motivated them to dance with great passion and joy. There’s something about the music that makes you start moving to the beat when you hear it whether it’s a familiar song or not.