"Happy for the Poor" - Fred Wesley

"Happy for the Poor" (PDF) from the James Brown album, Slaughter's Big Rip-Off.
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At first, I thought this was another mistake.  Having sorted through the history of "Make It Funky" and searched for the origin of the word, "Transmograpfication" [sic], I was ready to accept the idea that something got fowled up along the way, from when the album was recorded in 1973 up until I purchased and downloaded it a few weeks ago, as soon as I heard the opening chant of, "Wellll.... can you Gimme Some More?"

But what I quickly realized was that this version is different from the "Gimme Some More" that appears on The J.B.'s albums, and that is when I understood the reason for the new title.  The tune "Gimme Some More" became a big hit for The J.B.'s (the James Brown band minus James Brown), not only in the instrumental portion of the live show but also as a commercial success from the album, Food for Thought.  Because Mr. Brown allowed his band to record its own independent album, he owned very little of that recording credit, if any at all.  And so to reap the benefits of the tune's popularity, James Brown ordered his band to record a new version for the Slaughter soundtrack under a different title and, most importantly, a different composer: James Brown.

It is difficult to label this practice as a "Big Rip-Off" since both parties seem to have had an agreement as to how the J.B. hit factory operated.  But unfortunate examples of this still occur today, such as Def Leoppard re-recording its own hits after a dispute with the record label, and Jonathan Coulton's tongue-in-cheek battle with the producers of the T.V. musical, Glee, where the definition of copyright and ownership is challenged.  It must be asked, "What is the difference between a cover version, a parody, a remix/mashup, or theft?" and "Is it possible to own sound and music?"  Like I have always said:

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

Hey, look at this!  A YouTube video of Fred Wesley playing "Gimme Some More" with some weirdos!

Recommended Reading: Hit Me, Fred: Recollections of a Sideman by Fred Wesley Jr.  Published by Duke University Press.