James Brown (1933-2006), commonly referred to as "the Godfather of Soul" and "the Hardest Working Man in Show Business", was a singer recognized as one of the most influential figures in 20th century popular music. He was renowned for his shouting vocals, feverish dancing and unique rhythmic style.
- Roosevelt Franklin's dog, shown in The Sesame Street Library Volume 2, is named Night Train; it shares its name with an instrumental R&B standard, recorded by Brown.
- A Sesame Street animated caricature of Brown is featured in a series of "Soul" alphabet skits.
- In the Abby's Flying Fairy School episode "The Cinderella Challenge", Abby and Gonnigan need a rhyme with "gown" to make one for Blogg. One rhyme they make is "James Brown", that gives Blogg a James Brown outfit and hair and he starts singing in Brown's style.