Soul And / Or Related Artists
bobby byrd

Bobby Byrd

b. Bobby Day (a.k.a. Robert Howard Byrd), 15th August 1934, South Carolina, U.S.A.

d. 12th September 2007, Loganville, Georgia, U.S.A.

Bobby Byrd formed the Gospel Starlighters in the late 50's.

He also played in the Gospel group the 3 Swanee's with James Brown and Johnny Terry.

Bobby met James in Toccoa, where he was serving time in a juvenile facility for burglary. James pitched for the prison baseball team, and his team played against Mr. Byrd's team.

During the early '50s, Bobby and his family sponsored James Brown's parole from prison.

Bobby recorded with Earl Nelson as Bob And Earl before forming the group The Avons, a band later to enlist James Brown upon his release from prison.

The Avons then changed their name to The Flames, who became James Brown And The Famous Flames during the '60's.

Bobby's first hit came for the Smash imprint, a duet with Anna King entitled 'Baby Baby Baby', which made number 52 in Billboard's soul chart in 1964.

The following year 'We Are In Love' reached number 14 in the same chart.Bobby later enjoyed a further Top 20 hit, 'I Need Help (I Can't Do It Alone)', for King Records.

His voice can later be heard on James Brown's 'Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine.'

Bobby's Seventies output was fairly low key, however his career enjoyed a renaissance with the onset of sampling, mainly pioneered by the hip hop artists.

The most famous example was Eric B And Rakim's 1987 single 'I Know You Got Soul', which sampled Byrd's 1971 track of the same title.Bobby left the James Brown line up in 1973 and recorded and performed regularly (particularly in Europe).

His first studio album since 1970 was released in 1994, entitled 'On The Move'.

Bobby embarked on several concert tours with his wife, Vicki Anderson, and the family.

As a solo artist Bobby is probably best remembered for the, previously mentioned, James Brown produced, 'I Know You Got Soul' (1971) and 'If You Got A Love You Better Hold On To It' (1972), popular on the U.K. 'rare groove' scene in the mid-'80's.

Bobby's daughter Bonnie Byrd scored an R & B hit with the tune 'Good Girl' in the late 1980's. He is also the stepfather of the U.K. based soul singer Carleen Anderson.

Bobby sang at James Brown's 2006 funeral along with his wife, Vicki Anderson, who was also in James' touring band.

Bobby died on Wednesday the 12th of September 2007, of cancer at his Loganville home. He was 73.

Bobby performed his final show with the Soulpower Allstars in July 2005 at the Supernatural Festival in Holland.Bobby was scheduled to appear at another show on September 29th in Belgrade, Serbia.

Following Bobby's passing, Mrs. Vicki Anderson said that of her husband's songs, "Baby, I Love You" was her favorite.'That was the first song that he wrote for me,' said Vicki.

Real Player

Albums:

On the Move (Instinct Records 1994)

Finally Getting Paid (Rhythm Attack Records 1990)

Bobby Byrd Got Soul: The Best Of Bobby Byrd 1963-72 (Polydor Chronicles Records 1995)

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