Melvin Parker

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Melvin Parker

Melvin Parker (June 7, 1944 – December 3, 2021)[1] was an American drummer. He and his brother, saxophonist Maceo Parker, were key members of James Brown's band.

Life and career[edit]

Parker was born in Kinston, North Carolina on June 7, 1944. His drumming style was a major ingredient in Brown's funk music innovations in the 1960s.[2] In 1964 and 1965 Parker was the drummer on three of Brown's recordings: "Out of Sight," "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag," and "I Got You (I Feel Good)."[3]

"The greatest drummer I ever had in my life was Melvin Parker," Brown reflected in 2004. "'I Feel Good', 'Papa's Bag' (sic) – nobody ever did that. Nobody. And they can't do it now. And if I was getting ready to cut a record that was right, I would go get Melvin today, because he's just like a metronome."[4]

Parker's first association with Brown ended when he was drafted in the mid-1960s. He was replaced in the band by Clyde Stubblefield and Jabo Starks. Parker rejoined Brown's band in 1969, and appeared on the album Sex Machine.[citation needed]

In 1970, Parker was part of a mutiny by Brown's band. After leaving Brown, Parker joined his brother Maceo's band, Maceo & All the King's Men.[5] He rejoined Brown briefly in 1976, and played on the hit "Get Up Offa That Thing".[3]


  1. ^ Melvin E. Parker
  2. ^ "Google News".
  3. ^ a b Sarah Bryan, Beverly Patterson, African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina, North Carolina Arts Council, 2013, p. 18.
  4. ^ Hurtt, Michael (August 2004). "The Mojo interview". Mojo. No. 129. p. 42.
  5. ^ "Melvin Parker Discography at Discogs". Retrieved 2011-10-23.

External links[edit]