Josh Kelley laughs when he recalls that he and his brother, Charles, were discovered by James Brown and Brown’s manager. That’s right. James “I Feel Good” Brown.
Josh remembers that James Brown’s manager, Larry Friday, was trying to sign him and Charles to Atlantic Records. But their dad wouldn’t sign the papers because of their age. Josh says, “we were too young. We were like 14. It was ridiculous.” He says it was weird because the manager was telling them “‘We’re going to go to New York. You’re going to do a big CD release party with all the finest girls in the world are going to be there. Champagne!”‘ But Kelley reminded him they were 14.
He jokes, sure, he would have taken a glass of Champagne. Josh says he has no idea what he and his brother would be doing now if they had signed that record deal when they were 14 and 15. They’ve done just fine without it.