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Stallworth was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1941. In 1957, he was employed by James Brown as his valet and part-time driver. Stallworth's mother arranged the job in order to keep her son 'out of trouble'.
In 1957, when Stallworth was sixteen, James Brown and the Famous Flames was breaking up; Bobby Byrd
(founder), Sylvester Keels, NaFloyd Scott, Nash Knox, and Johnny Terry
had left because the group's managers, Clint Brantley and Ben Bart, gave
James Brown top billing. Over the next few months, several members came
and went including Willie Johnson, Big Bill Hollings, J. W. Archer and
Louis Madison. These men, after departing the group, went on to form a
San Francisco-based splinter group, The Fabulous Flames. Members of this interim Famous Flames
singing group claimed they had left because Brown refused to pay them.
Brown said they were asked to leave because of alcohol and drug use
while touring. By this time, with the departure of original group
leader/founder Bobby Byrd, Brown had taken full control of The Famous Flames. In 1958, Stallworth was recruited as a replacement group member. He was nicknamed Baby Lloyd because he was the youngest member of the group. Bobby Bennett, along with original members Bobby Byrd and Johnny Terry also rejoined, and with James Brown, became the permanent Famous Flames lineup.
Stallworth sang with the group on several hit singles, including "Bewildered", "Good Good Lovin'", "This Old Heart", "I Don't Mind", "Think", "I'll Go Crazy", "Three Hearts in a Tangle", and "Oh Baby Don't You Weep" and co-wrote Brown's 1961 hit, "Lost Someone". He recorded several albums with the group, including "Live at The Apollo"
(1963). It was not until the release of the CD that The Famous Flames
were credited for their work on the album. Other albums included Pure Dynamite! Live at the Royal, Think, Showtime, and James Brown and The Famous Flames Live at the Garden. Stallworth performed solo spots in Brown's revue as an opening act and recorded a couple of Brown-produced solo songs.
As an artist in his own right, Stallworth released just a handful of singles: "I Need You" for Dade/Atco Records (1960) and "There's Something on Your Mind" for Loma Records (2014). He also recorded a single for the small Hollywood-based "Wolfie" label, entitled "I Refuse To Cry" (W-101) and made an appearance on the Smash Records live album, Presenting...The James Brown Show (SRS-67087-1967) where he, along with several James Brown Revue artists, including Vicki Anderson, sang two songs. One of them was "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction".
Stallworth appeared with James Brown and The Famous Flames in the 1964 American International Pictures concert film The T.A.M.I. Show, recorded live at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium,where they upstaged headliners The Rolling Stones. He also appeared with the group in the Frankie Avalon film, Ski Party (1965), and on a 1966 telecast of The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS .
In 1966, James Brown made two appearances on the The Ed Sullivan Show,
both with The Famous Flames. Stallworth was with the group on the first
appearance (May 1, 1966), but he left the group before the second
(October 30, 1966). Only Brown was given billing or payment (the group
members were salaried) and this caused discord within the group. In 2012, in an interview published in Goldmine, Bobby Bennett said,
By 1968, Byrd and Bennett had also left, effectively spelling the end
of the Famous Flames. Byrd returned for a time, then left permanently
in 1973. Brown's career continued successfully in the funk genre.
In 2012, on the eve of the group's 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
induction, Bobby Bennett, the last surviving member of the group, said
in an interview with The Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper,
2002, Flames members Stallworth, Bobby Byrd, and Bobby Bennett, along
with band member Fred Wesley, retained Richard Yellen, an attorney, to
commence legal proceedings against James Brown
for alleged non-payment of royalties. The lawsuit was filed in the New
York state supreme court on October 31, 2002 and then in the Manhattan
federal court. Baby Lloyd and Bobby Bennett sought $7 million, Byrd
$5 million (and $2 million for his wife, singer Vicki (Anderson) Byrd) as royalties from the 1960s and 1970s. The lawsuit was dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired.
In 1986, James Brown was inducted as one of the charter members of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame without The Famous Flames. This led to long lasting controversy over the following twenty-seven years.
In 2011, eleven years after Stallworth's death, five years after
Bobby Byrd's death, and seven years after John Terry's death, Terry
Stewart, the chief executive officer of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,
formed a committee to consider the bands and groups that had been
eligible for induction, but were left out because of the impact of their
lead singers or front men. Concerning the omission of the Flames when
Brown was inducted alone in 1986, Stewart said,
The Famous Flames (Byrd, Bennett, Terry and Stallworth)
received their induction on April 14, 2012. Bennett, who died the
following year, (January 18, 2013), as the group's only surviving
member, accepted the induction on behalf of The Famous Flames. At the same time, The Midnighters (Hank Ballard), The Comets (Bill Haley), The Crickets (Buddy Holly), The Blue Caps (Gene Vincent) and The Miracles (Smokey Robinson),
received their induction, Miracles lead singer Smokey Robinson, who
inducted all six groups, including his own Miracles, said,
King Records, never put The Famous Flames'
faces on any of their album covers.(only Brown was pictured) This
limited their future market potential. For a short time, after leaving The Famous Flames, Stallworth took a position as a member of James Brown's clerical staff. Stallworth died in 2002, at the age of 61, from complications of diabetes. (Some sources report 2001 as his year of death).
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