As readers around these here grazing lands know, I'm a huge fan of Harry Secombe and the British musical Pickwick. Among other things, I've posted a few recordings of the hit song from the show, "If I Ruled the World," like here. The song, by Cyril Ornadel and Leslie Bricusse (who more famously wrote with Anthony Newley) has hand numerous recordings, the biggest hit being by Tony Bennett.
But how about James Brown? Yes, that James Brown!
This comes from a a performance at the Apollo Theater in 1968, and was taped to be part of a TV special, James Brown: Man to Man.
It will not shock you to learn that his rendition is different from Harry Secombe's. But surprisingly it's not otherwordly from another planet. It's actually somewhat in the range of Tony Bennett's, with his own interpretation, and actually quite thoughtful and moving. The audience seems to be quite taken by the tenderness of it.
I guess when you're the Godfather of Soul, you have a better chance to rule the world than most of us...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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