On this day in music history: October 12, 1974 – “Papa Don’t Take No Mess (Part 1)” by James Brown hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #31 on the Hot 100 on September 28, 1974. Written by James Brown, Fred Wesley, John Starks and Charles Bobbit, it is the seventeenth and final R&B chart topper for “The Godfather Of Soul”. After scoring the blaxploitation cult classics “Black Caesar” and “Slaughter’s Big Rip Off” in 1973, James Brown is asked by the film producers of “Caesar” to write music for the sequel “Hell Up In Harlem”. Brown and his band The JB’s enter the studio in the Summer of 1973 to record the soundtrack. Among the songs written for the film is “Papa Don’t Take No Mess”, recorded at International Studios in Augusta, GA on August 23, 1973. The producers of “Hell Up In Harlem” end up rejecting Brown’s music, feeling “it’s more of same”, and instead hire Motown staff songwriters Freddie Perren and Fonce Mizell (of “The Corporation”) to score the film instead. James Brown takes his rejected soundtrack music, and releases it as the follow up to “The Payback” album in June of 1974. “Papa Don’t Take No Mess” is chosen as the second single from the double album titled “Hell” in August of 1974. The nearly fourteen minute long track (taking up the entire fourth side of the album) is edited down significantly, and split into two parts for single release. “Papa Don’t Take No Mess” is the singers’ third consecutive R&B chart topper in 1974 following “The Payback” and “My Thang”. It becomes one of Brown’s most popular and frequently sampled songs, later forming the basis of Janet Jackson’s chart topping single “That’s The Way Love Goes” in 1993.
The Godfather still in charge!