Saturday, February 13, 2010


James Brown, as released by image creator Lars...Image via Wikipedia

James Joseph Brown was born on May 3, 1933 in Barnwell South Carolina and past away on December 25, 2006 in Atlanta Georgia. I saw James Brown in the late 1990s at the Monterey Fairgrounds, he had to be in his sixties and the man put on a show. He was still dancing and singing and making the crowd go crazy. James Brown was a songwriter, arranger and dancer, he was one of the most influential entertainers of the 20th century with his popular music and his remarkable achievements earned him the title “the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business.” James Brown was raised in Atlanta Georgia by his great-aunt, Growing up in the poor south during the depression James was sent home from grade school for  “insufficient clothes”, this that is probably why he wore such elaborate clothes. At the age of 15 James and some friends were arrested for breaking into cars.
James was originally sentenced to 8 to 16 year of incarceration at Alto Reform School, but he only served 3 years for good behavior. While he was in Alto he formed a gospel group called “The Gospel Starlighters”. Later on the group went secular and called themselves The Flames. The Flames caught Little Richards attention. Little Richards manager Ralph Bass who took the James Brown to Syd Nathan of King records Syd Nathan hated James first recording “Please Please Please”(1956) James Brown First Single Sold three million copies and this single launched James Brown’s career. James Brown was known as “Soul Brother Number One” in the 1960s. James had three hits out that decade “Don’t Be a Drop Out” in 1966, “Say It Loud -I’m Black and I’m Proud” in 1968 and “Don’t Want Nobody to Give me Nothing’
(Open Up the Door, I’ll Get It Myself)” in 1969. During all the civil unrest in the major cities on the East Coast politicians would recruit James Brown for his avid  endorsement of issuse of the times. James Brown had several hits in the 1960s like “Out of Sight”, “Papa’s got a Brand New Bag” and “I Got You (I Feel Good)”. In 1967 “Cold Sweat” was James Brown’s first true funk song and three more followed “Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose” and “Licking Stick-Licking Stick in 1968 and “Funky Drummer” in 1969. James Brown recordings influenced musicians like Sly and The Family Stone, Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, Booker T. & the M.G.’s , and soul shouters like Edwin Starr, Temptations David Ruffin, and Dennis Edwards. Michael Jackson at a young age took James Brown’s shouting and dancing to the mainstream America. In the late 1970s and 1980s James Brown put out two album for the disco era Get Up Offa That Thing and Body Heat in 1976. James appeared in feature films The Blues Brothers, Doctor Detroit and Rocky IV and Miami Vice. James Brown had his challenges with the law throughout his career and after his death his children filed a lawsuit against his estate. James Brown was presented honors, awards and dedications throughout his career. He always be known as The Godfather of Soul.

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