James Brown and Little Richard Play Wheel of Fortune

Sometimes you got to go WAY back for the best Flashback Friday.  We dug very deep in order to turn back the clock today and this #fbf will take you to a special moment in history when Little Richard and James Brown teamed up together on Wheel of Fortune.  And its just beautiful.

For just one night, Wheel of Fortune brought together two of the most important rock and roll musicians of our century and it was just as awesome as you would expect.  Complete with animal prints, juicy perms and loud personalities this clip with have you too thanking James Brown for being from the "ol' school."

As to how Richard and Brown ended up being the only two-man team spinning the wheel, well that is a story in itself.  According to fellow contestant "Weird Al" Yankovic, "James Brown shows up like an hour late, with this 20-person entourage.  All the contestants are in the green room, and they are watching James Brown learn how to play Wheel of Fortune. He had apparently never heard of or seen the show before."

According to Yankovic's interview with Rolling Stone,

"Weird Al" Yankovic was initially very unsure about appearing on Wheel of Fortune when he was approached by the show in 1994. "I said to my manager, 'That sounds kind of cheesy and I don't know if I want to do it,'" he says. "Then he said, 'You'll be playing against James Brown and Little Richard.' I said, 'I'm there!'"

During rehearsals all the celebrities were shown the rules of the game, but there was no sign of James Brown. "They basically wanted to make sure we knew how to play Hangman," says Yankovic. "Everything went very smoothly. We figured it wasn't a big deal that James Brown wasn't there."

Shortly before taping, Brown came onto the set with a large entourage. The producers quickly showed him how to play the game, and had him spin the wheel in a test run. "I don't think he'd ever seen Wheel of Fortune," says Yankovic. "He didn't know the basic rules of the game. When the wheel stopped he said, 'Give me…Give me an A!' They said to him, 'You have to pick a consonant when you spin the wheel.' He said, 'Oh…uh…Europe!'"

When it became clear that Brown would have trouble playing the game on his own, the producers teamed him up with Little Richard. They played as a duo against Yankovic and Lee Greenwood. To be fair, James Brown clearly got the hang of the game and even managed to solve one of the puzzles. In the end, however, Greenwood beat everybody. "I've made peace with my defeat," says Yankovic. "And it's became one of my favorite anecdotes and my favorite James Brown story.

So without further ado, here is Macon's own Little Richard, spinning the wheel with the Godfather of Soul.  


posted 04/20/2018 in Music


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