R&B singer, Joe Tex, best known for his hits “Skinny Legs And All” and “Ain’t Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)” had a bitter rivalry with James Brown that went beyond simple diss tracks. At one point the feud became so heated that James Brown attempted to murder Tex with a shotgun, reportedly wounding six or seven people in the process.
The rivalry dates back to the early days of their careers, according to Joe Tex’s Wikipedia page:
The feud between Tex and fellow labelmate James Brown took its origins allegedly sometime in the mid-1950s when both artists were signed to associated imprints of King Records when Brown allegedly called out on Tex for a “battle” during a dance at a local juke joint. In 1960, Tex left King and recorded a few songs for Detroit-based Anna Records, one of the songs he recorded was the ballad “Baby, You’re Right”. A year later, Brown recorded the song and released it in 1961, changing up the lyrics and the musical composition, earning Brown co-songwriting credits along with Tex.
It had to have stung having your song usurped, with a songwriting credit added, and watching it become a bigger hit than your single.
Brown fueled the fire by hooking up and recording with Tex’s ex-wife. James Brown was kind of a dick:
By then, Brown had recruited singer Bea Ford, who had been married to Tex prior, but had divorced in 1959. In 1960, Brown and Ford recorded the song, “You’ve Got the Power”. Shortly afterwards, Tex got a personal letter from Brown telling him that he was through with Ford and if Tex wanted her back, he could have her. Tex responded by recording the diss record, “You Keep Her”, where he called Brown’s name out.
“James I got your letter, it came to me today. You said I could have my baby back, but I don’t want her that way.”
Things soon came to a head at a 1963 gig in Macon, Georgia when Joe Tex aped Brown’s cape act.
Find out what happened next after the jump…