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I was already familiar with James Brown’s Say It Live and Loud (Polygram), which was recorded live at Memorial Auditorium in Dallas on August 26, 1968. I was there, a couple of rows back from the front, and hearing it all over again is one sweet pleasure: the tight, percolating orchestra with arrangements that improve classics like “I Feel Good,” emcee Maceo Parker, Jr., whipping the crowd into a frenzy, and the squeals and howls of Soul Brother Number One. And hearing “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud)” made me feel just as weird as when I mumbled “I’m hmmm-mmmm and I’m proud” during the song’s call-and-response at the concert. It still makes my backbone slip like nothing else imaginable… . Just when the novelty of a bug-eyed baritone in a cowboy hat playing a weird

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