Bewildered

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"Bewildered" is a popular song written in 1936 by Teddy Powell and Leonard Whitcup. It was a 1938 hit for Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, and was also recorded by Mildred Bailey in the same year. The song was revived in the late forties when two different versions, by the Red Miller Trio and Amos Milburn respectively, reached number one on the R&B chart in 1948 (neither of them made the pop chart).[1] Both these versions departed significantly from the original published melody and influenced later recordings. "Bewildered" was subsequently recorded by several other R&B performers, including Billy Eckstine and The Ink Spots, with Eckstine's version reaching #4 R&B and #27 pop. A decade later it was recorded by Mickey & Sylvia, again with an altered melody similar to the Red Miller Trio recording. "Bewildered" was also covered in 1990 by The Notting Hillbillies on their album Missing...Presumed Having a Good Time. [2]

James Brown and The Famous Flames version[edit]

"Bewildered"
Single by James Brown and The Famous Flames
from the album Think!
B-side "If You Want Me"
Released February 1961 (1961-02)
Format 7" (stereo)
Recorded January 30, 1959, Beltone Studios, New York, NY
Genre R&B, doo-wop
Length 2:21
Label King
5442
Writer(s) Teddy Powell
Leonard Whitcup
Producer(s) Andy Gibson
James Brown charting singles chronology
"The Bells"
(1961)
"Bewildered"
(1961)
"I Don't Mind"
(1961)

James Brown and The Famous Flames recorded "Bewildered" in 1959. Their doo-wop-tinged rendition was somewhat similar to the Amos Milburn version, with a strong triplet feeling and a heavily melismatic vocal line. It was first released as a track on Brown's 1960 album Think!. The following year it was issued as a single, which reached the R&B Top Ten and became Brown's second single (after "Think") to enter the Pop Top 40 (US Charts: #8 R&B; #40 Pop).[3]

"Bewildered" became a staple of Brown's concerts for much of his career. It was featured in a medley on his breakthrough 1963 album Live at the Apollo and appeared on several of his later live albums, including Revolution of the Mind: Recorded Live at the Apollo, Vol. III (1971) and Love, Power, Peace (1992). He also recorded new studio versions for albums including Prisoner of Love (1963) and Sex Machine (1970).

Personnel[edit]

  • James Brown - lead vocal

and The Famous Flames:

with the James Brown Band:

  • George Dorsey - alto saxophone
  • J.C. Davis - tenor saxophone
  • Bobby Roach - guitar
  • Bernard Odum - bass
  • Nat Kendrick - drums[4]
Preceded by
"Blues After Hours" by Pee Wee Crayton and His Guitar
Billboard Best Selling Retail Race Records number-one single (Red Miller Trio version)
December 4, 1948
Succeeded by
"Chicken Shack Boogie" by Amos Milburn
Preceded by
"Chicken Shack Boogie" by The Red Miller Trio
Billboard Best Selling Retail Race Records number-one single (Amos Milburn version)
December 25, 1948
Succeeded by
"Chicken Shack Boogie" by Amos Milburn
"The Deacon's Hop" by Big Jay McNeely's Blue Jays

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. pp. 400, 401. 
  2. ^ Wolk, Douglas. (2004). Live at the Apollo, 89-92. New York: Continuum Books.
  3. ^ White, Cliff (1991). "Discography". In Star Time (pp. 54–59) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  4. ^ Leeds, Alan, and Harry Weinger (1991). "Star Time: Song by Song". In Star Time (pp. 46–53) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.

External links[edit]