Maceo Parker (born February 14, 1943) is a gifted saxophone player, best known for his contributions to James Brown's distinct sound. He was born in Kinston, North Carolina in a musically-rich environment. His mother and father sang in a church and both his brothers are accomplished musicians (drums and trombones).
He and his brother, Melvin Parker, joined James Brown in 1964; Brown, in his book, says that he originally wanted Melvin as his drummer but agreed to take Maceo under his wing as part of the deal. Maceo, Melvin and a few of Brown's band members left to found Maceo & All the Kings Men which toured for two years. In 1973 Maceo returned to James Brown's band. In 1975 Maceo and some of Brown's band members, including Fred Wesley, left to join George Clinton's Parliament.
Maceo once again joined James Brown from 1984 to 1988. In the 1990s he finally embraced a successful solo career. He has released seven solo records and plays 250 tour dates per year.