Bewildered

Bewildered

[bih-wil-derd]
"Bewildered" is a popular song written in 1936 by Teddy Powell and Leonard Whitcup. It was a 1938 hit for Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, and was also recorded by Mildred Bailey in the same year. The song was revived in the late forties when two different versions, by the Red Miller Trio and Amos Milburn respectively, reached #1 on the R&B charts in 1948. Both these versions departed significantly from the original published melody. "Bewildered" was subsequently recorded by several other R&B performers, including Billy Eckstine and The Ink Spots, with Eckstine's version reaching #4 R&B and #27 pop. A decade later it was recorded by Mickey & Sylvia, again with an altered melody similar to the Red Miller Trio recording.

James Brown and The Famous Flames version

James Brown and The Famous Flames recorded "Bewildered" in 1959. Their doo-wop-tinged rendition was somewhat similar to the Amos Milburn version, with a strong triplet feeling and a heavily melismatic vocal line. It was first released as a track on Brown's 1960 album Think. The following year it was issued as a single, which reached the R&B Top Ten and became Brown's second single (after "Think") to enter the Pop Top 40 (US Charts: #8 R&B; #40 Pop).

"Bewildered" became a staple of Brown's concerts for the rest of his career. It was featured in a medley on his breakthrough 1963 album Live at the Apollo and appeared on several of his later live albums, including Love, Power, Peace (1971) and Revolution of the Mind: Recorded Live at the Apollo, Vol. III (1971). He also recorded other studio versions for albums including Prisoner of Love (1963) and Sex Machine (1970).

Personnel

  • James Brown - lead vocal

and The Famous Flames:

  • Bobby Byrd - vocals, piano
  • Bobby Bennett - vocals
  • "Baby Lloyd" Stallworth - vocals
  • Johnny Terry - vocals
  • Willie Johnson - vocals

with the James Brown Band:

  • George Dorsey - alto saxophone
  • J.C. Davis - tenor saxophone
  • Bobby Roach - guitar
  • Bernard Odum - bass
  • Nat Kendrick - drums

References

  • Leeds, Alan M., and Harry Weinger (1991). Star Time: Song by Song. In Star Time (pp. 46-53) [CD liner notes]. London: Polydor Records.
  • White, Cliff (1991). Discography. In Star Time (pp. 54-59) [CD liner notes]. London: Polydor Records.
  • Wolk, Douglas. (2004). Live at the Apollo. New York: Continuum Books.

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