Howard Remembers the Time Baba Booey Blew It While Playing Trumpet With James Brown

Stern Show honors of the Godfather of Funk following the 15th anniversary of his death

January 6, 2022

To commemorate the passing of funk icon and regular show guest James Brown, who shimmied his way off this mortal coil 15 years ago this past Christmas, Howard looked back at the time the legendary entertainer let Stern Show executive producer Gary Dell’Abate play trumpet on an in-studio rendition of “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.”

“Gary got to play trumpet for James Brown … [and] ruins James Brown’s song,” Howard laughed on Wednesday morning before playing a clip of their unforgettable on-air collaboration.

“You know what I love about it? James Brown was known to be a stickler about his band being perfect, and he could hear anything that was off,” co-host Robin Quivers added. “So … he had to endure it.”

When Baba Booey chimed in, he assured everyone the Godfather of Funk and Soul had in fact been quite kind with his notes. “He put his arm around me and brought me over to the side and he said … something like, ‘Here’s what’s going on, you were playing on the upbeat and you need to be playing on the downbeat,’” Gary recalled. “It was very sweet. It really was.”

To further honor their team-up, Howard also debuted a James Brown remix featuring samples of Gary clearing his throat. Hear “Phlegmy Drummer” (above).

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