Sweet Charles Sherrell

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Sweet Charles Sherrell
Birth nameCharles Sherrell
Also known asSweet Charles
Born (1943-03-08) March 8, 1943 (age 76)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
GenresR&B, funk
InstrumentsElectric bass, vocals, guitar, keyboards
Associated actsAretha Franklin, James Brown, Maceo Parker

"Sweet" Charles Sherrell (born Charles Emanuel Sherrell, March 8, 1943) is an American bassist known for recording and performing with James Brown.


Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Sherrell began his career playing drums with fellow Nashville residents Jimi Hendrix and Billy Cox, practicing at a club a block from Hendrix's residence. Sherrell learned to play the guitar by washing the car (a Jaguar) of Curtis Mayfield in exchange for guitar lessons. Sherrell soon began teaching himself to play the bass after buying one from a local pawn shop for $69, which led him to join Johnny Jones & The King Kasuals Band, Aretha Franklin's backing group.

Sherrell joined James Brown's band in August 1968, replacing Tim Drummond after Drummond contracted hepatitis in Vietnam. He played on some of Brown's most famous recordings of the late 1960s, including the #1 R&B hits "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud", "Mother Popcorn", and "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose". Brown credited him with being his first bassist to incorporate playing techniques such as thumping on the strings that were adopted by other players, including Bootsy Collins.[1] In the 1970s, Sherrell rejoined Brown and performed with The J.B.'s. He later played with Al Green and Maceo & All the King's Men. He also released some recordings under the name Sweet Charles, including his first solo album, Sweet Charles: For Sweet People, on James Brown's label People Records.


  1. ^ Brown, James, and Bruce Tucker (1986). James Brown: The Godfather of Soul, 198. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press.

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