In 1969, Lee Fields introduced himself with a crackling cover of James Brown's "Bewildered," so faithful to the 1961 original that he earned the nickname "Little J.B." Through the decades that followed, filled with collector's-item indie releases and chitlin-circuit tours, his voice accumulated grit and heartbreak, and Fields became a genre idol himself, resurrected by the so-called deep funk movement that later birthed revivalists Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Charles Bradley.

Subscribe to billboard biz to continue reading this article and thousands more.

Billboard.biz subscribers get:
  • 24/7 coverage of every genre and sector of the business with over 150 exclusive charts
  • Bulletin: Breaking stories, chart info and analysis sent directly to your inbox every weekday
  • Billboard Magazine iPad Edition: An enhanced version of the magazine with video, photo galleries and playable charts
  • Archives: A rich history of Billboard.biz articles and exclusive charts

Join now or Log In