Bernard Odum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bernard Odum
Born 1932
Died August 17, 2004
Mobile, Alabama, USA
Genres R&B, funk
Occupation(s) Bassist
Instruments Bass
Associated acts James Brown
Maceo & All the King's Men

Bernard Odum (1932 – August 17, 2004) was an US bass guitar player best known for performing in James Brown's band in the 1960s.

Odum started playing with Brown in 1956 and became a full-time member of Brown's band in 1958. He worked in the James Brown band until the end of the 1960s, and played on such hits as "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" (1965), "I Got You (I Feel Good)" (1965), and "Cold Sweat" (1967).[1]

In 1969, Odum and most of the other musicians in Brown's band walked out on him over a pay dispute and other issues, prompting Brown to create a new backing band, The J.B.'s. In 1970, Odum briefly joined Maceo Parker's group, Maceo & All the King's Men, appearing on the album Doin' Their Own Thing.

Bernard Odum played a 1956 Fender Precision Bass, strung with flatwound strings, throughout most of his career. He also played a Vox "teardrop" bass as well as a 120 watt Westminster 1x18 bass combo amp when Brown and his band gained an endorsement from Vox towards the end of 1965.[1]

Odum died of kidney failure at the age of 72 in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "James Brown's Bassists". March 2005. Bass Player. Retrieved on June 17, 2008.