Don't Be a Drop-Out

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"Don't Be a Drop-Out"
Single by James Brown
from the album Sings Raw Soul
B-side"Tell Me That You Love Me"
ReleasedOctober 1966 (1966-10)
RecordedAugust 16, 1966, Arthur Smith Studios, Charlotte, NC
Songwriter(s)Burt Jones
Producer(s)James Brown
James Brown charting singles chronology
"Money Won't Change You Part 1"
"Don't Be a Drop-Out"
"Sweet Little Baby Boy (Part 1)"

"Don't Be a Drop-Out" is a song written by Burt Jones and recorded by James Brown. It was Brown's first attempt at a socially conscious song, encouraging teenagers to stay in school. Released as a single in 1966, it charted #4 R&B and #50 Pop.[1] It also appeared on the album Sings Raw Soul. Bobby Byrd, Vicki Anderson, and The Jewels contribute backing vocals.[2] The song led to Brown meeting with Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who had been working on a stay-in-school program of his own.[3]

An unedited version of the original recording of "Don't Be a Drop-Out" is included on the 1991 box set Star Time.


  1. ^ White, Cliff (1991). "Discography". In Star Time (pp. 54–59) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  2. ^ Leeds, Alan, and Harry Weinger (1991). "Star Time: Song by Song". In Star Time (pp. 46–53) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  3. ^ Smith, R.J. (2012). The One: The Life and Music of James Brown, 180. New York: Gotham Books.