2nd Part of James Brown’s Life and Legend
(Continued from Prior Post)
By the release of 1979’s The Original Disco Man, Brown seldom contributed to the songwriting and production processes…..while leaving most of it to producer Brad Shapiro…..which resulted in the song “It’s Too Funky in Here” becoming Brown’s most successful single in this period. After two more albums failed to chart, Brown left Polydor in 1981. It was around this time that Brown changed the name of his band from the J.B.’s to the Soul Generals (or Soul G’s)…..as the band retained that name until his death.
Music & Live Concerts – 1983 – James Brown & Special Guest B.B. King – Live at the Beverly Theater in Los Angeles, CA – Entire Concert
Despite Brown’s declining record sales, promoters Gary LoConti and Jim Rissmiller helped Brown sell out a string of residency shows at the Reseda Country Club in Los Angeles in early 1982…..when his compromised commercial standing prevented him from charging a large fee…..however, the great success of these shows marked a turning point for Brown’s career …..and soon he was back on top in Hollywood…..when movies followed, including appearances in Doctor Detroit in 1983…..and Rocky IV in 1985. He also guest-starred in the Miami Vice episode “Missing Hours” in 1987). Previously, Brown appeared alongside a litany of other Black musical luminaries in The Blues Brothers in 1980.
Movie Clips & Music – 1983 – From the Movie Dr. Detroit – Starring Dan Aykroyd – With the Scene of James Brown Performing “Get Up Offa That Thing” After Introducing Dr. Detroit
Movie Clips & Music – 1985 – From the Movie Rocky IV – Starring Sylvester Stallone + Dolph Lundgren – With the Scene of James Brown Performing “Living In America” As The Fighters Enter The Ring
Movie Clips & Music – 1980 – From the Movie The Blues Brothers – Starring Dan Aykroyd + John Belushi – With the Scene of The Reverend James Brown Performing “Can You See The Light” From the Pulpit in Church
In 1984, he teamed with rap musician Afrika Bambaataa on the song “Unity”. A year later he signed with Scotti Brothers Records and issued the moderately successful album Gravity in 1986…..with a popular song “How Do You Stop” …..which included Brown’s final Top Ten pop hit, “Living in America”…..which marked his 1st Top 40 entry since 1974…..and his 1st Top Ten pop entry since 1968. Produced and written by Dan Hartman, it was also featured prominently on the Rocky IV film and soundtrack…..as Brown performed the song in the film at Apollo Creed’s final fight….which was shot in the Ziegfeld Room at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas…..while being was credited in the film as the Godfather of Soul. 1986 also saw the publication of his autobiography, James Brown: The Godfather of Soul, co-written with Bruce Tucker. In 1987, Brown won the Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “Living in America”.
Music – Rap – 1984 – James Brown & Afrika Bambaataa – Live in the Studio – “Unity”
Music & Live Concerts – Soul Ballad – James Brown – From the Album Gravity – 1986 – Live at the Taboo Club in Detroit, MI – James Brown – “How Do You Stop”
Music – Official Music Video – 1986 – James Brown – “Living In America” – From the Movie Rocky IV
In 1988, Brown worked with the production team Full Force on the new jack swing-influenced I’m Real…..which spawned his final two Top 10 R&B hits, “I’m Real” and “Static”…..which peaked at # 2 and # 5, respectively. Meanwhile, the drum break from the 2nd version of the original 1969 hit “Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose” (the recording was included on the compilation album In the Jungle Groove) became so popular at hip hop dance parties (especially for breakdance) during the early 1980’s that hip hop pioneer Kurtis Blow called the song “the national anthem of hip hop”.
Music – Soul Funk – Recorded From the Album Soul Spy – 1988 – James Brown Whit Full Force – “I’m Real”
Music – Soul Funk – Recorded From the Album I’m Real – 1988 – James Brown Whit Full Force – “Static”
Music – Soul Funk – Recorded From the Album James Brown In A Jungle Groove – 1988 – James Brown – “Soul Power”
Music – Soul Funk – Recorded From the Album James Brown In A Jungle Groove – 1988 – James Brown – “Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose”
After his stint in prison during the late 1980’s, Brown met Larry Fridie and Thomas Hart who produced the 1st James Brown biopic, entitled James Brown: The Man, the Message, the Music, released in 1992. He returned to music with the album Love Over-Due in 1991…..which included the single “(So Tired of Standing Still We Got to) Move On”…..when peaked at # 48 on the R&B chart. His former record label Polydor also released the four-CD box set Star Time, spanning Brown’s career to date. Brown’s release from prison also prompted his former record labels to reissue his albums on CD, featuring additional tracks and commentary by music critics and historians. That same year, Brown appeared on rapper MC Hammer’s video for “Too Legit to Quit”…..as Hammer had been noted, alongside Big Daddy Kane, for bringing Brown’s unique stage shows and their own energetic dance moves to the hip-hop generation…..as both listed Brown as their idol…..while both musicians also sampled his work, with Hammer having sampled the rhythms from “Super Bad” for his song “Here Comes the Hammer”, from his best-selling album Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em…..and Big Daddy Kane sampled many times. Before the year was over, Brown–who had immediately returned to work with his band following his release–organized a pay-per-view concert following a show at Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theatre, that was well received.
Dance Moves & Music – Soul Funk – Special Dance Compilation – 1991 – James Brown – “(So Tired of Standing Still We Got to) Move On”
On June 10, 1991, James Brown and a star-filled line up performed before a crowd at the Wiltern Theatre for a live pay-per-view at-home audience. James Brown: Living in America – Live! was the brainchild of Indiana producer Danny Hubbard…..which featured M.C. Hammer as well as Bell Biv Devoe, Heavy D & the Boys, En Vogue, C+C Music Factory, Quincy Jones, Sherman Hemsley and Keenen Ivory Wayans. Ice-T, Tone Loc and Kool Moe Dee all performed while paying homage to Brown. This was Brown’s 1st public performance since his parole from the South Carolina prison system in February. He had served two-and-a-half years of two concurrent six-year sentences for aggravated assault and other felonies.
Music & Live Concerts – Extended Highlights – 1974 – James Brown and The JBs – Live in Zaire, Africa – Performing “Try Me” + “The Payback” + “Cold Sweat” + “The Boss” + “Doing It Til Death” et al
Brown continued making recordings. In 1993 his album Universal James was released…..which included his final Billboard charting single, “Can’t Get Any Harder”…..which peaked at # 76 on the US R&B chart and reached # 59 on the UK chart…..as its brief charting in the UK was probably due to the success of a remixed version of “I Feel Good” featuring Dakeyne. Brown also released the singles “How Long” and “Georgia-Lina”, which failed to chart. In 1995, Brown returned to the Apollo and recorded Live at the Apollo 1995. It included a studio track titled “Respect Me”…..which was released as a single and again it failed to chart. Brown’s final studio albums, I’m Back and The Next Step, were released in 1998 and 2002 respectively…..as I’m Back featured the song “Funk on Ah Roll”…..which peaked at # 40 in the UK but did not chart in the US. The Next Step included Brown’s final single, “Killing Is Out, School Is In”…..as both albums were produced by Derrick Monk. Brown’s concert success, however, remained unabated and he kept up with a grueling schedule throughout the remainder of his life…..while living up to his previous nickname, “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business”, in spite of his advanced age. In 2003, Brown participated in the PBS American Masters television documentary James Brown: Soul Survivor…..which was directed by Jeremy Marre. As seen in the three videos to follow….. undeniable dancing talents are displayed…..as Mr. Dynamite has never had a rival to the best talent at “cutting a rug”…..also, ImaSportsPhile salutes Zay Visuals, an internet video producer for their video contribution covering James Brown’s unworldly dancing talents (3rd video posted herewith)…..so, thanks…..and we here at ImaSportsPhile hope you enjoy the talents of this incredible entertainer as much as we do.
Music – Soul Funk – Official Video – James Brown – From the Album Universal James – 1993 – James Brown – “Can’t Get Any Harder”
Music & Live Concerts – James Brown – Live at Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, England – 2004 – James Brown & The Soul Generals – “I Feel Good”
Dance Moves & Music – James Brown – A Zay Visuals Production Special – 2022 – “Tribute To The Incredible Dance Moves On James Brown – Evidence of His Wonderful Dancing Talents
Music & Live Concerts – 1999 – Live at Woodstock 99 East Stage – James Brown & The Soul Generals – “Funk On Ah Roll”
Music & Live Concerts – 1999 – Live at Woodstock 99 East Stage – James Brown & The Soul Generals – “Funk On Ah Roll”
Brown performed in the Super Bowl XXXI halftime show in 1997.
Music & Live Concerts – Halftime at Superbowl XXXI – Live in Louisiana Super Dome – James Brown & The Soul Generals + Z Z Top Live in New Orleans, LA
Brown celebrated his status as an icon by appearing in a variety of entertainment and sports events, including an appearance on the WCW pay-per-view event, SuperBrawl X…..where he danced alongside wrestler Ernest “the Cat” Miller…..who based his character on Brown, during his in-ring skit with the Maestro. Brown then appeared in Tony Scott’s short film Beat the Devil in 2001…..and was featured alongside Clive Owen, Gary Oldman, Danny Trejo and Marilyn Manson. Brown also made a cameo appearance in the 2002 Jackie Chan film The Tuxedo, in which Chan was required to finish Brown’s act after having accidentally knocked out the singer. In 2002, Brown appeared in Undercover Brother, playing himself.
Music & TV Shows – James Brown Live on Soul Train 1970 – A Sun. Hutchney Production Special – James Brown + Damita Jo Freeman (Dancer) – “Super Bad”
In 2004, Brown opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers at several Hyde Park concerts in London. The beginning of 2005 saw the publication of his 2nd book, I Feel Good: A Memoir of a Life of Soul, written with Marc Eliot. In February and March, he participated in recording sessions for an intended studio album with Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, and other longtime collaborators. Though he lost interest in the album, which remains unreleased, a track from the sessions, “Gut Bucket”, appeared on a compilation CD included with the August 2006 issue of MOJO. He appeared at Edinburgh 50,000 – The Final Push, the final Live 8 concert on July 6, 2005, where he performed a duet with British pop star Will Young on “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag”. In the Black Eyed Peas album “Monkey Business”, Brown was featured on a track called “They Don’t Want Music”. The previous week he had performed a duet with another British pop star, Joss Stone, on the United Kingdom chat show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. In 2006, Brown continued his Seven Decades of Funk World Tour…..with his final major U.S. performance was in San Francisco on August 20, 2006, as headliner at the Festival of the Golden Gate (Foggfest) on the Great Meadow at Fort Mason. The following day, he performed at an 800-seat campus theatre at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California…..as his last shows were greeted with positive reviews…..and one of his final concert appearances at the Irish Oxegen festival in Punchestown in 2006 included a record crowd of 80,000 people. He played a full concert as part of the BBC’s Electric Proms on October 27, 2006, at The Roundhouse, supported by the Zutons, with special appearances from Max Beasley and the Sugababes…..as this concert took place less than 60 days before The Godfather of Soul went to home to Heaven…..when
Music – Doo Wop – James Brown – From the Album Soul Survivor – 2004 – James Brown & The Famous Flames – “Just Won’t Do Right”
Music & Awards Show – 1994 – The American Music Awards Show – As James Brown Receives The American Music Award of Merit – Followed By A Speech and A Medley of Songs
Music & Live Concerts – Entire Concert – 2006 – James Brown – Live at The Roadhouse in London, England – Less Than 60 Before His Death
Brown’s last televised appearance was at his induction into the UK Music Hall of Fame in November 2006, before his death the following month…..when Brown had been scheduled to perform a duet with singer Annie Lennox on the song “Vengeance” for her new album Venus, which was released in 2007.
Music – Soul Funk – James Brown -2006 – Live at the UK Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – A LBVIDZ VINTAGE Production Special – James Brown Performing “I Feel Good” – In The Godfather of Soul’s Last Stage Performance
As a vocalist, Brown performed in a forceful shout style derived from gospel music…..meanwhile, “his rhythmic grunts and expressive shrieks harked back farther still to ring shouts, work songs, and field cries”…..and according to the Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History (1996): “He reimported the rhythmic complexity from which rhythm and blues, under the dual pressure of rock ‘n’ roll and pop, had progressively fallen away since its birth from jazz and blues.”
Music -James Brown – A PBS Music Special – 2019 – A Sound Field Production Special – “Hosts of Sound Field Arthur “LA” Buckner and Nahre Sol Present How James Brown Invented Funk”
For many years, Brown’s touring show was one of the most extravagant productions in American popular music. At the time of Brown’s death, his band included three guitarists, two bass guitar players, two drummers, three horns and a percussionist…..which were of comparable size to the bands that he maintained during the late 1960’s and 1970’s…..and they also included a three-piece amplified string section that played during the ballads. Brown employed between 50 and 70 people for the James Brown Revue…..as the members of the revue traveled with him in a bus to cities and towns all over the country…..while performing upwards of 330 shows a year with almost all of the shows as one-nighters.
Music & Live Concerts – James Brown – Live at the East Berlin Peace Concert – 1988 – James Brown & + The JBs + Martha High + Saxophonist Maceo Parker – Entire Concert
Before James Brown appeared on stage, his personal MC gave him an elaborate introduction accompanied by drumrolls…..as the MC worked in Brown’s various sobriquets along with the names of many of his hit songs. The introduction by Fats Gonder, captured on Brown’s 1963 album Live at the Apollo is a representative example: “So now ladies and gentlemen it is “Star Time”. Are you ready for Star Time?” Thank you and thank you very kindly. It is indeed a great pleasure to present to you at this particular time, nationally and internationally known as The Hardest-Working Man in Show Business, the man that sings “I’ll Go Crazy”…..”Try Me”…..”You’ve Got the Power”…..”Think”…..”If You Want Me”…..”I Don’t Mind”…..”Belwildered”….. the million dollar seller, “Lost Someone”…..and the very latest release, “Night Train”…..let’s everybody “Shout and Shimmy”…..”Mr Dynamite”, the amazing “Mr. Please Please Please” himself, the star of the show, James Brown and the Famous Flames”
Music & Live Concerts – Introductions by Fats Gonder – 1963 – James Brown – Live at the Apollo Theater in NYC – Performing “I’ll Go Crazy” – A Wonderful Intro For An Exceptional Entertainer – (And They Did It Together With That KInd of Fanfare for 30 Years….Wow)
James Brown’s performances were famous for their intensity and length…..as his own stated goal was to “give people more than what they came for — make them tired, ’cause that’s what they came for.'” Brown’s concert repertoire consisted mostly of his own hits and recent songs…..with a few R&B covers mixed in…..while Brown danced vigorously as he sang, working popular dance steps such as the Mashed Potato into his routine along with dramatic leaps, splits and slides…..while in addition, his horn players and singing group (The Famous Flames) typically performed choreographed dance routines…..and later incarnations of the Revue included backup dancers…..plus, male performers in the Revue were required to wear tuxedoes and cummerbunds long after more casual concert wear became the norm among the younger musical acts. Brown’s own extravagant outfits and his elaborate processed hairdo completed the visual impression. A James Brown concert typically included a performance by a featured vocalist, such as Vicki Anderson, Martha High or Marva Whitney…..along with an outstanding instrumental feature for the band…..which sometimes served as the opening act for the show. Now, think about this…..throughout James Brown’s career, he would perform 300 to 350 “one night stands” per year…..which is evidence of his own moniker as The Hardest Working Man in Music being absolutely true….for there wasn’t anyone who was even close to James Brown….and what is appreciated most here at ImaSportsPhile is the incredible fact that he had a production staff of 50 to 75 people for every show…..so, when you consider that James Brown literally controlled every aspect of that production from the doors to the concerts all the way to backstage behind the curtains…..to the last note played in each of those 300 shows per year…..and all the while being a perfectionist of the highest order…..Amazing Man!
Music & Live Concerts – James Brown – Live in Kinshasa, Zaire, Africa – 1974 – A Casa de Borinquen Production Special – James Brown & The JBs: “Soul Power”
A trademark feature of Brown’s stage shows, usually during the song “Please, Please, Please”, involved Brown dropping to his knees while clutching the microphone stand in his hands…..which prompted the show’s longtime MC, Danny Ray, to come out, drape a cape over Brown’s shoulders and escort him off the stage after he had worked himself to exhaustion during his performance…..then as Brown was escorted off the stage by the MC, Brown’s vocal group, the Famous Flames (Bobby Byrd, Lloyd Stallworth, and Bobby Bennett), continued singing the background vocals “Please, please don’t go-oh”…..and that’s when Brown would then shake off the cape and stagger back to the microphone to perform an encore. Brown’s routine was inspired by a similar one used by the professional wrestler Gorgeous George, as well as Little Richard. In his 2005 autobiography I Feel Good: A Memoir in a Life of Soul, Brown, who was a fan of Gorgeous George, credited the wrestler as the inspiration for both his cape routine and concert attire, stating, “Seeing him on TV helped create the James Brown you see on stage”. Brown performs a version of the cape routine in the film of the T.A.M.I. Show in 1964…..when he and the Famous Flames upstaged the Rolling Stones….. plus over the closing credits of the film Blues Brothers 2000. The Police refer to “James Brown on the T.A.M.I. Show” in their 1980 song “When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around”.
Music & Live Concerts – James Brown – Famous Robe Routine – Live from the T.A.M.I. Show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, CA – 1964 – James Brown and the Famous Flames Perform “Please, Please, Please” – Featuring Mr. Dynamite’s World Famous Robe Routine (complete)
Brown demanded extreme discipline, perfection and precision from his musicians and dancers – performers in his Revue showed up for rehearsals and members wore the right “uniform” or “costume” for concert performances. During an interview conducted by Terri Gross during the NPR segment “Fresh Air” with Maceo Parker, a former saxophonist in Brown’s band for most of the 1960’s and part of the 1970’s and 1980’s, Parker offered his experience with the discipline that Brown demanded of the band: “You gotta be on time. You gotta have your uniform. Your stuff’s got to be intact. You gotta have the bow tie. You got to have it. You cannot come up without the bow tie. You cannot come up without a cummerbund ….. The patent leather shoes we were wearing at the time gotta be greased. You just gotta have this stuff. This is what Brown expected….He bought the costumes. He bought the shoes. And if for some reason a band member decided to leave the group, Brown told the person to please leave my uniforms.” Brown also had a practice of directing, correcting and assessing fines on members of his band who broke his rules, such as wearing unshined shoes, dancing out of sync or showing up late on stage. During some of his concert performances, Brown danced in front of his band with his back to the audience as he slid across the floor, flashing hand signals and splaying his pulsating fingers to the beat of the music. Although audiences thought Brown’s dance routine was part of his act, this practice was actually his way of pointing to the offending member of his troupe who played or sang the wrong note or committed some other infraction. Brown used his splayed fingers and hand signals to alert the offending person of the fine that person must pay to him for breaking his rules. Brown’s demands on his support acts could be harsh. As Fred Wesley recalled of his time as musical director of the JBs, if Brown felt intimidated by a support act he would try to “undermine their performances by shortening their sets without notice, demanding that they not do certain shows topping songs, and even insisting on doing the unthinkable, playing drums on some of their songs. A sure set killer.”
Music & Talk Shows – James Brown – Live on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson – 1973 – A Johnny Carson Production Special – James Brown Performs “Dance, Do The Turn Around” + “If I Ruled The World”
Brown’s main social activism was in preserving the need for education among youths…..which was influenced by his own troubled childhood and his being forced to drop out of the 7th grade for wearing “insufficient clothes”. Due to heavy dropout rates in the 1960’s, Brown released the pro-education song, “Don’t Be a Drop-Out”…..as all royalties of the song were donated to dropout-prevention charity programs. The success of this led to Brown meeting with President Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House….. when Johnson cited Brown for being a positive role model to the youth. In 1968 James Brown endorsed Hubert Humphrey…..but later Brown gained the confidence of President Richard Nixon, to whom he found he had to explain the plight of Black Americans. Albeit rarely talked about when James Brown was in the conversation…..but the fact is that he spent his entire life, as evidenced by his music, involved in the endeavor of raising the level of enlightenment of black people all around the world…..for in many ways, his music gave his race hope for the future…..and confidence that this uplifting of a race of people will indeed happen.
Music – James Brown – 1967 – From the Album Raw Soul – A Maik Damelaik Production Special – James Brown – “Don’t Be A Drop-Out”
Throughout the remainder of his life, Brown made public speeches in schools and continued to advocate the importance of education in school. Upon filing his will in 2002, Brown advised that most of the money in his estate go into creating the I Feel Good, Inc. Trust to benefit disadvantaged children and provide scholarships for his grandchildren. His final single, “Killing Is Out, School Is In”, advocated against murders of young children in the streets. Brown often gave out money and other items to children while traveling to his childhood hometown of Augusta. A week before his death, while looking gravely ill, Brown gave out toys and turkeys to kids at an Atlanta orphanage, something he had done several times over the years.
Music & Live Concerts (Home Movie) – 2002 – Live in Philadelphia, PA – James Brown & The Soul Generals – “Killing is Out, School is In”
Though Brown performed at benefit rallies for civil rights organizations in the mid-1960’s…..truthfully, he often shied away from discussing civil rights in his songs in fear of alienating his crossover audience. In 1968, in response to a growing urge of antiwar advocacy during the Vietnam War, Brown recorded the song, “America Is My Home”…..when in the song, Brown performed a rap, advocating patriotism and exhorting listeners to “stop pitying yourselves and get up and fight”. At the time of the song’s release, Brown had been participating in performing for troops stationed in Vietnam.
Music – James Brown – Recorded Patriotic Rap – 1968 – James Brown – “My Home Is America” – As Possibly The 1st Rap Song Recorded
On April 5, 1968, a day after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee, Brown provided a free citywide televised concert at the Boston Garden to maintain public order and calm concerned Boston residents…..which was over the objections of the police chief…..who wanted to call off the concert…..which he thought would incite violence. The show was later released on DVD as Live at the Boston Garden: April 5, 1968. According to the documentary The Night James Brown Saved Boston, then-mayor Kevin White had strongly restrained the Boston police from cracking down on minor violence and protests after the assassination…..while religious and community leaders worked to keep tempers from flaring. White arranged to have Brown’s performance broadcast multiple times on Boston’s public television station, WGBH, thus keeping potential rioters off the streets, watching the concert for free. Angered by not being told of this, Brown demanded $60,000 for “gate” fees…..which was money he thought would be lost from ticket sales on account of the concert being broadcast for free…..and then he threatened to go public about the secret arrangement when the city balked at paying up afterwards…..as news of which would have been a political death blow to White and spark riots of its own. White eventually lobbied the behind-the-scenes power-brokering group known as “The Vault” to come up with money for Brown’s gate fee and other social programs while contributing $100,000. Brown received $15,000 from them via the city. White also persuaded management at the Garden to give up their share of receipts to make up the differences. Following this successful performance, Brown was counseled by President Johnson to urge cities ravaged from riots following King’s assassination to not resort to violence, telling them to “cool it, there’s another way”.
Music & Documentary – James Brown – 1968 – A James Brown Production Special – ” The Night James Brown Saved Boston” – With a Live Concert at Boston Gardens on April 4, 1968
Responding to pressure from black activists, including H. Rap Brown, to take a bigger stance on their issues and from footage of black on black crime committed in inner cities…..to which Brown wrote the lyrics to the song “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud”…..when his bandleader Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis accompanied with a musical composition. Released late that summer, the song’s lyrics helped to make it an anthem for the civil rights movement. Brown only performed the song sporadically following its initial release and later stated he had regrets about recording it, saying in 1984, “Now ‘Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud’ has done more for the black race than any other record…..but if I had my choice, I wouldn’t have done it, because I don’t like defining anyone by race. To teach race is to teach separatism.” In his autobiography he stated: “The song is obsolete now…..but it was necessary to teach pride then….and I think the song did a lot of good for a lot of people. People called “Black and Proud” militant and angry – maybe because of the line about dying on your feet instead of living on your knees. But really, if you listen to it, it sounds like a children’s song. That’s why I had children in it, so children who heard it could grow up feeling pride. The song cost me a lot of my crossover audience. The racial makeup at my concerts was mostly black after that. I don’t regret it, though, even if it was misunderstood.
Music – Social Commentary Official Video – 1968 – James Brown & The Famous Flames – “Now, Say It Loud….I’m Black, I’m Proud” – A Time When There Was a Great Deal of Turmoil in the Black Community….. and the Song Was to Lift and Elevate…..Which It Did Just That !!!!
In 1969, Brown recorded two more songs of social commentary, “World” and “I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing”…..with the latter song pleading for equal opportunity and self-reliance rather than entitlement. In 1970, in response to some black leaders for not being outspoken enough, he recorded “Get Up, Get into It, Get Involved” and “Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothing”. In 1971, he began touring Africa, including Zambia and Nigeria. He was made “freeman of the city” in Lagos, Nigeria, by Oba Adeyinka Oyekan, for his “influence on black people all over the world”. With his company, James Brown Enterprises, Brown helped to provide jobs for blacks in business in the communities. As the 1970’s continued, Brown continued to record songs of social commentary, most prominently 1972’s “King Heroin” and the two-part ballad “Public Enemy”…..which dealt with drug addiction.
Music – Social Commentary Soul – 1969 – James Brown & The Famous Flames – “World” – As The World Is Still Like What He Was Singing About 54 Years Ago!
Music – Social Commentary Soul – 1969 – James Brown & The Famous Flames – “I Don’t Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing” – As Only James Brown Could Teach Us A Lesson And Make Us Groove At The Same Time!
Music – 1970 – Soul Funk – James Brown – “Get On Up, Get Into It, Get Involved” – Which Charted # 4 On The R & B Charts
Music – Soul Funk – James Brown – 1970 – From the Album James Brown Funk Power – James Brown – “Talking Loud and Saying Nothing”
Music – Soul Groovin’ – James Brown – 1971 – From the Album James Brown In The Jungle Groove – James Brown – “King Heroin (All Parts)”
Music – Soul Groovin’ – James Brown – 1971 – From the Album James Brown There I IsJames Brown – “Public Enemy”
During the 1968 presidential campaign, Brown endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey and appeared with Humphrey at political rallies…..when he was labeled an “Uncle Tom” for supporting Humphrey…..and also for releasing the pro-American funk song, “America Is My Home”…..in which Brown had lambasted protesters of the Vietnam War…. as well as the politics of pro-black activists. Brown began supporting Republican president Richard Nixon after being invited to perform at Nixon’s inaugural ball in January 1969. Brown’s endorsement of Nixon during the 1972 presidential election negatively impacted his career during that period with several national Black organizations boycotting his records and protesting at his concert shows…..when a November 1972 show in Cincinnati was picketed with signs saying, “James Brown: Nixon’s Clown”. Brown initially was invited to perform at a Youth Concert following Nixon’s inauguration in January 1973…..but bailed out due to the backlash he suffered from supporting Nixon…..as Brown joined fellow black entertainer Sammy Davis Jr…..who faced similar backlash, to back out of the concert. Brown blamed it on “fatigue”…..then he later reversed his support of Nixon and composed the song, “You Can Have Watergate (Just Gimme Some Bucks And I’ll Be Straight)” as a result. After Nixon resigned from office, Brown composed the 1974 hit, “Funky President (People It’s Bad)”, right after Gerald Ford took Nixon’s place. Brown later supported Democratic President Jimmy Carter, attending one of Carter’s inaugural balls in 1977. Brown also openly supported President Ronald Reagan’s reelection in 1984.
Music & Live Concerts – 1967 – Live at the L’Olympia Bruno Coquatrix Paris Concert – James Brown and The Famous Flames – Entire Concert
Brown stated he was neither Democratic nor Republican despite his support of Republican presidents such as Nixon and Reagan…..as well as Democratic presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Jimmy Carter. In 1999, when being interviewed by Rolling Stone, the magazine asked him to name a hero in the 20th century…..when Brown mentioned John F. Kennedy and then-96-year-old U.S. Senator and former Dixiecrat, Strom Thurmond….. while stating “when the young whippersnappers get out of line, whether Democratic or Republican, an old man can walk up and say ‘Wait a minute, son, it goes this way.’ And that’s great for our country. He’s like a grandfather to me.” In 2003, Brown was the featured attraction of a Washington D.C. fundraiser for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Following the deaths of Ronald Reagan and his friend Ray Charles, Brown said to CNN, “I’m kind of in an uproar. I love the country and I got – you know I’ve been around a long time, through many presidents and everything. So after losing Mr. Reagan, who I knew very well, then Mr. Ray Charles, who I worked with and lived with like, all our life, we had a show together in Oakland many, many years ago and it’s like you found the placard.” Despite his contrarian political views, Brown mentored black activist Rev. Al Sharpton during the 1970’s.
Music & Live Concerts – 2000 – Live On Stage In Pittsburgh, PA Concert – James Brown and The Soul Generals – Entire Concert
In 1962, Tammi Terrell joined the James Brown Revue. Brown became sexually involved with Terrell, even though she was only 17, while in a relationship that continued until she escaped his physical abuse. Bobby Bennett, former member of the Famous Flames, told Rolling Stone about the abuse he witnessed: “He beat Tammi Terrell terrible”, said Bennett. “She was bleeding, shedding blood.” Terrell, who died in 1970, was Brown’s girlfriend before she became famous as Marvin Gaye’s singing partner in the mid-1960’s. “Tammi left him because she didn’t want her butt whipped”, said Bennett…..who also claimed he saw Brown kick one pregnant girlfriend down a flight of stairs.
Brown was married three times…..with his 1st marriage was to Velma Warren in 1953…..and they had one son together…..when over a decade later, the couple had separated and the final divorce decree was issued in 1969….. albeit, they maintained a close friendship that lasted until Brown’s death. Brown’s 2nd marriage was to Deidre “Deedee” Jenkins, on October 22, 1970 …..as they had two daughters together…..but by 1974 they were separated after what his daughter describes as years of domestic abuse…..when the final divorce decree was issued on January 10, 1981. His 3rd marriage was to Adrienne Lois Rodriguez (March 9, 1950 – January 6, 1996) in 1984. It was a contentious marriage that made headlines due to domestic abuse complaints. Rodriguez filed for divorce in 1988, “citing years of cruelty treatment”, but they reconciled. Less than a year after Rodriguez died in 1996, Brown hired Tomi Rae Hynie to be a background singer for his band….. as she later claimed that she was his 4th wife. On December 23, 2002, Brown, 69, and Hynie, 33, held a wedding ceremony that was officiated by the Rev. Larry Flyer. Following Brown’s death, controversy surrounded the circumstances of the marriage, with Brown’s attorney, Albert “Buddy” Dallas, reporting that the marriage was not valid; Hynie was still married to Javed Ahmed, a man from Bangladesh. Hynie claimed Ahmed married her to obtain residency through a Green Card and that the marriage was annulled but the annulment did not occur until April 2004. In an attempt to prove her marriage to Brown was valid, she provided a marriage certificate as proof of her marriage to Brown during an interview on CNN with Larry King, but she did not provide King with court records pointing to an annulment of her marriage to Brown or to Ahmed. According to Dallas, Brown was angry and hurt that Hynie had concealed her prior marriage from him and Brown moved to file for annulment from Hynie. Dallas added that though Hynie’s marriage to Ahmed was annulled after she married Brown, the Brown–Hynie marriage was not valid under South Carolina law because Brown and Hynie did not remarry after the annulment. In August 2003, Brown took out a full-page public notice in Variety featuring Hynie, James II and himself on vacation at Disney World to announce that he and Hynie were going their separate ways. On January 27, 2015, a judge ruled Hynie as Brown’s legal widow and that she was now Brown’s widow for purposes of determining the distribution of Brown’s estate. The decision was based on the grounds that Hynie’s previous marriage was invalid and that James Brown had abandoned his efforts to annul his own marriage to Hynie. On June 17, 2020, a South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that Hynie was not legally married to Brown due to her failure to annul her previous marriage. The court also officially ruled that she has no right to any part of his estate. Brown had numerous children and acknowledged nine of them, including five sons—Teddy (1954–1973), Terry, Larry, Micheal Brown and James Joseph Brown Jr.—and six daughters: LaRhonda Petitt, Dr. Yamma Noyola Brown Lumar, Deanna Brown Thomas, Cinnamon Brown, Jeanette Bellinger and Venisha Brown (1964–2018). Brown also had eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Brown’s eldest son, Teddy, died in a car crash on June 14, 1973. According to an August 22, 2007, article published in the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, DNA tests indicate that Brown also fathered at least three extramarital children. The first one of them to be identified is LaRhonda Pettit (born 1962), a retired flight attendant and teacher who lives in Houston. Another alleged son, Michael Deon Brown, was born in September 1968 to Mary Florence Brown, and despite pleading no contest to a paternity suit brought against him in 1983, Brown never officially acknowledged Michael as his son. During contesting of Brown’s will, another of the Brown family attorneys, Debra Opri, revealed to Larry King that Brown wanted a DNA test performed after his death to confirm the paternity of James Brown Jr. (born 2001)—not for Brown’s sake but for the sake of the other family members. In April 2007, Hynie selected a guardian ad litem whom she wanted appointed by the court to represent her son, James Brown Jr., in the paternity proceedings. James Brown Jr. was confirmed to be his biological son.
Music – James Brown – Mini Documentary – A Things About Them Production Special – “James Brown: 4 Wives, 10 Children and Sad Deaths”
For most of his career, Brown had a strict drug- and alcohol-free policy for any member in his entourage, including band members…..and would fire people who disobeyed orders…..while particularly those who used or abused drugs. Although early members of the Famous Flames were fired for using alcohol, Brown often served a highball consisting of Delaware Punch and moonshine at his St. Albans, Queens, house in the mid-1960’s. Some of the original members of Brown’s 1970’s band, the J.B.’s, including Catfish and Bootsy Collins, intentionally took LSD during a performance in 1971…..which caused Brown to fire them after the show because he had suspected them of being on drugs all along. Aide Bob Patton has asserted that he accidentally shared a PCP-laced cannabis joint with Brown in the mid-1970’s….and according to Patton, Brown “hallucinated for hours…..albeit, Brown talked about it as if it was only marijuana he was smoking”…..but by the mid-1980’s, it was widely alleged that Brown was using drugs…..with Vicki Anderson confirming to journalist Barney Hoskyns that Brown’s regular use of PCP (“angel dust”) began before 1982. After he met and later married Adrienne Rodriguez in 1984…..that’s when she and Brown began using PCP together…..which often resulted in violent outbursts from him…..as he was arrested several times for domestic violence against Rodriguez while high on the drug. By January 1988, Brown faced four criminal charges within a 12-month span relating to driving, PCP, and gun possession. After an April 1988 arrest for domestic abuse, Brown went on the CNN program Sonya Live in L.A. with host Sonya Friedman…..as this interview became notorious for Brown’s irreverent demeanor…..with some asserting that Brown was high…..but come on folks, it was the 1980’s…..and those of us that were around back then remember that it seemed like dang near everyone was smoking, snorting or injecting drugs of some kind…..and especially in the universe of music…..so, it comes as no surprise to hear about another “macho man” that liked doing drugs…..cuz you could find a macho man that did drugs on almost every corner in America…..it was cultural. In fact, the combination of macho and drugs was why James Brown’s personal life was marred by numerous brushes with the law. At the age of 16, he was convicted of theft and served three years in juvenile prison. During a concert held at Club 15 in Macon, Georgia, in 1963, while Otis Redding was performing alongside his former band Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers, Brown, reportedly wielding two shotguns…..who tried to shoot his musical rival Joe Tex…..as the incident led to multiple people being shot and stabbed. Since Brown was still on parole at the time, he relied on his agent Clint Brantley “and a few thousand dollars to make the situation disappear”…..when according to Jenkins, “seven people got shot”…..and after the shootout ended, a man appeared and gave each one of the injured a hundred dollars apiece not to carry it no further and not to talk to the press …..and Brown was never charged for the incident. On July 16, 1978, after performing at the Apollo Theater, Brown was arrested for reportedly failing to turn in records from one of his radio stations after the station was forced to file for bankruptcy. Brown was arrested again on April 3, 1988, for assault…..and again in May 1988 on drug and weapons charges…. and again on September 24, 1988, following a high-speed car chase on Interstate 20 near the Georgia–South Carolina state border…..plus, he was convicted of carrying an unlicensed pistol and assaulting a police officer, along with various drug-related and driving offenses…..and albeit he was sentenced to six years in prison, he was eventually released on parole on February 27, 1991, after serving two years of his sentence. Brown’s FBI file, released to The Washington Post in 2007 under the Freedom of Information Act, related Brown’s claim that the high-speed chase did not occur as claimed by the police…..and that local police shot at his car several times during an incident of police harassment and assaulted him after his arrest. Local authorities found no merit to Brown’s accusations.
News & Interview – 1988 – A CNN Production Special – “James Brown: Interview With Sonya on CNN” – In What Might Be The Strangest Interview Ever
At the end of his life, James Brown lived in Beech Island, South Carolina, directly across the Savannah River from Augusta, Georgia. Brown had chronic illness with type 1 diabetes that went undiagnosed for years, according to his longtime manager Charles Bobbit. In 2004, Brown was successfully treated for prostate cancer. Regardless of his health, Brown maintained his reputation as the “hardest working man in show business” by keeping up with his grueling performance schedule.
Music – Documentary – James Brown – A Produce Like A Pro Production Special – “The Godfather of Soul – James Brown – Artists That Changed Music” – An In-Depth Look Into The Life and Career of James Brown
On December 23, 2006, Brown became very ill and arrived at his dentist’s office in Atlanta, Georgia, several hours late…..when his appointment was for dental implant work…..but during that visit, Brown’s dentist observed that he looked “very bad … weak and dazed”…..so, instead of performing the work, the dentist advised Brown to see a physician right away about his medical condition. The following day, Brown went to the Emory Crawford Long Memorial Hospital for medical evaluation and was admitted for observation and treatment. According to Charles Bobbit, his longtime personal manager and friend, Brown had been struggling with a noisy cough since returning from a November trip to Europe…..yet, Bobbit said that the singer had a history of never complaining about being sick…..and was often known to perform while ill. Although Brown had to cancel upcoming concerts in Waterbury, Connecticut, and Englewood, New Jersey, he was confident that the doctor would discharge him from the hospital in time for his scheduled New Year’s Eve shows at the Count Basie Theatre in New Jersey…..along with the B. B. King Blues Club in New York, in addition to performing a song live on CNN for the Anderson Cooper New Year’s Eve special. Brown remained hospitalized, however, and his condition worsened throughout the day. On Christmas Day 2006, Brown died at approximately 1:45 a.m. EST (05:45 UTC), at age 73, from congestive heart failure…..which resulted from complications of pneumonia. Bobbit was at his bedside and later reported that Brown stuttered, “I’m going away tonight”…..then took three long, quiet breaths and fell asleep before dying.
Music – James Brown – 2023 – An Our History Production Special – “James Brown: Examining The Unexpected Death Of The Legendary Master Of Funk”
After Brown’s death, his relatives, a host of celebrities, and thousands of fans gathered, on December 28, 2006, for a public memorial service at the Apollo Theater in New York City and, on December 30, 2006, at the James Brown Arena in Augusta, Georgia. A separate, private ceremony was held in North Augusta, South Carolina, on December 29, 2006, with Brown’s family in attendance. Celebrities at these various memorial events included Michael Jackson, Jimmy Cliff, Joe Frazier, Buddy Guy, Ice Cube, Ludacris, Dr. Dre, Little Richard, Dick Gregory, MC Hammer, Prince, Jesse Jackson, Ice-T, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bootsy Collins, LL Cool J, Lil Wayne, Lenny Kravitz, 50 Cent, Stevie Wonder, and Don King. Rev. Al Sharpton officiated at all of Brown’s public and private memorial services. Brown’s memorial ceremonies were all elaborate, complete with costume changes for the deceased and videos featuring him in concert. His body, placed in a Promethean casket—bronze polished to a golden shine—was driven through the streets of New York to the Apollo Theater in a white, glass-encased horse-drawn carriage. In Augusta, Georgia, his memorial procession stopped to pay respects at his statue, en route to the James Brown Arena. During the public memorial there, a video showed Brown’s last performance in Augusta, Georgia, with the Ray Charles version of “Georgia on My Mind” playing soulfully in the background. His last backup band, the Soul Generals, also played some of his hits during that tribute at the arena. The group was joined by Bootsy Collins on bass, with MC Hammer performing a dance in James Brown style. Former Temptations lead singer Ali-Ollie Woodson performed “Walk Around Heaven All Day” at the memorial services. Brown was buried in a crypt at his daughter’s home in Beech Island, South Carolina.
Funerals & Music – 2006 – James Brown – A Reelblack One Production Special – “James Brown: Funeral and Homecoming Ceremony (Entire Proceedings)
Brown signed his last will and testament on August 1, 2000, before J. Strom Thurmond Jr., an attorney for the estate. The irrevocable trust, separate and apart from Brown’s will, was created on his behalf, that same year, by his attorney, Albert “Buddy” Dallas, one of three personal representatives of Brown’s estate. His will covered the disposition of his personal assets, such as clothing, cars, and jewelry, while the irrevocable trust covered the disposition of the music rights, business assets of James Brown Enterprises, and his Beech Island, South Carolina estate. During the reading of the will on January 11, 2007, Thurmond revealed that Brown’s six adult living children (Terry Brown, Larry Brown, Daryl Brown, Yamma Brown Lumar, Deanna Brown Thomas and Venisha Brown) were named in the document, while Hynie and James II were not mentioned as heirs. Brown’s will was signed 10 months before James II was born and more than a year before Brown’s marriage to Tomi Rae Hynie. Like Brown’s will, his irrevocable trust omitted Hynie and James II as recipients of Brown’s property. The irrevocable trust had also been established before, and not amended since, the birth of James II. On January 24, 2007, Brown’s children filed a lawsuit, petitioning the court to remove the personal representatives from the estate (including Brown’s attorney, as well as trustee Albert “Buddy” Dallas) and appoint a special administrator because of perceived impropriety and alleged mismanagement of Brown’s assets. On January 31, 2007, Hynie also filed a lawsuit against Brown’s estate, challenging the validity of the will and the irrevocable trust. Hynie’s suit asked the court both to recognize her as Brown’s widow and to appoint a special administrator for the estate. On January 27, 2015, Judge Doyet Early III ruled that Tomi Rae Hynie Brown was officially the widow of James Brown. The decision was based on the grounds that Hynie’s previous marriage was invalid and that James Brown had abandoned his efforts to annul his own marriage to Hynie. On February 19, 2015, the South Carolina Supreme Court intervened, halting all lower court actions in the estate and undertaking to review previous actions itself. The South Carolina Court of Appeals in July 2018 ruled that Hynie was, in fact, Mr. Brown’s wife. In 2020, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that Hynie had not been legally married to Brown and did not have a right to his estate. It was reported in July 2021 that Brown’s family had reached a settlement ending the 15-year battle over the estate. There is an undeniable truth in the world that “MONEY RULES EVERYTHING” in 2023…..which is something that James Brown knew his entire life……but he also knew that it was up to each individual who walks the Earth to utilize their God given talents to provide whatever they desire in life…..if you’re willing to put in the work on yourself to master those innate talents…..so, regarding how many women he had in his life…..when you are the superstar who averaged 200 live gigs per year for half a century…..and you are both blessed and cursed with an overabundance of natural energy…..then there is a really good chance that you will know a lot of women. Plus, when you were raised in an abusive home and grew up on the streets of an abusive culture…..whereas black history is full of macho men who were taught to abuse their women by not much more than osmosis through life.
Music – James Brown Special – 2019 – A Grunge Production Special – “James Brown: Everything That Came Out About James Brown After He Died”
News & Music – James Brown – 2021 – An Associated Press Production Special – “James Brown’s Estate Finally Settled
Brown received awards and honors throughout his lifetime and after his death. In 1993, the City Council of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, conducted a poll of residents to choose a new name for the bridge that crossed the Yampa River on Shield Drive. The winning name, with 7,717 votes, was “James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge”. The bridge was officially dedicated in September 1993…..and Brown appeared at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the event. A petition was started by local ranchers to return the name to “Stockbridge” for historical reasons…..but they backed off after citizens defeated their efforts because of the popularity of Brown’s name. Brown returned to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, on July 4, 2002, for an outdoor festival, performing with bands such as the String Cheese Incident.
Music & Live Concerts – Soul Funk – 1999 – Live at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas, NV – James Brown & The JBs at the House of Blues – Entire Concert Film
During his long career, Brown received many prestigious music industry awards and honors. In 1983 he was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame…..and Mr. Dynamite was one of the 1st inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at its inaugural induction dinner in New York on January 23, 1986…..when at that time, the members of his original vocal group, the Famous Flames (Bobby Byrd, Johnny Terry, Bobby Bennett, and Lloyd Stallworth) were not inducted. However, on April 14, 2012, the Famous Flames were automatically and retroactively inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside Brown, without the need for nomination and voting, on the basis that they should have been inducted with him in 1986. On February 25, 1992, Brown was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 34th annual Grammy Awards…..and exactly a year later, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 4th annual Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Awards. A ceremony was held for Brown on January 10, 1997, to honor him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On June 15, 2000, Brown was honored as an inductee to the New York Songwriters Hall of Fame. On August 6, 2002, he was honored as the first BMI Urban Icon at the BMI Urban Awards. His BMI accolades include an impressive ten R&B Awards and six Pop Awards. On November 14, 2006, Brown was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame…..as he was one of several inductees to perform at the ceremony. In recognition of his accomplishments as an entertainer, Brown was a recipient of Kennedy Center Honors on December 7, 2003. In 2004 Rolling Stone magazine ranked James Brown as # 7 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In an article for Rolling Stone, critic Robert Christgau cited Brown as “the greatest musician of the rock era”. He appeared on the BET Awards June 24, 2003, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Michael Jackson, and performed with him. In 2004, he received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement presented by Awards Council member Aretha Franklin.
Music & Awards Shows – 1986 – The Rock N Roll Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Special – “James Brown’s Acceptance Speech” – After Receiving the Award from Steve Winwood
Music & Awards Show – 1986 – 1st Annual Rock N Roll Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – With James Brown and The Famous Flames Performing “I Feel Good” Live on Stage
Music & Awards Show – 1992 – 34th Grammy Awards Ceremony – With James Brown Receiving The Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award – Along With Muddy Waters + John Coltrane
Music & Awards Show – 2003 – BET Awards Ceremony Show – When Michael Jackson Appears to Celebrate the Career and Achievement of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown
Brown was also honored in his hometown of Augusta, Georgia, for his philanthropy and civic activities. On November 20, 1993, Mayor Charles DeVaney of Augusta held a ceremony to dedicate a section of 9th Street between Broad and Twiggs Streets, renamed “James Brown Boulevard”, in the entertainer’s honor. On May 6, 2005, as a 72nd birthday present for Brown, the city of Augusta unveiled a life-sized bronze James Brown statue on Broad Street. The statue was to have been dedicated a year earlier, but the ceremony was put on hold because of a domestic abuse charge that Brown faced at the time. In 2005, Charles “Champ” Walker and the We Feel Good Committee went before the County commission and received approval to change Augusta’s slogan to “We Feel Good”…..when afterward, officials renamed the city’s civic center the James Brown Arena, and James Brown attended a ceremony for the unveiling of the namesake center on October 15, 2006. The following video of the Vox Pop interview provides all the evidence needed that James Brown was on a mission from God to use his talents to bring music with God’s message to the black community of the world…..as he and Muhammad Ali were given the gift from above to touch people all over the world with his talents…..when James Brown gave the world and his people the undeniable truth that if you use the talents that God gave each of us…..and learn to master those talents…..then you can do almost anything…..and this interview shows this about James Brown.
Music & Interviews – 1987 – A TheBestOfVoxPop Production Special – “James Brown: The 1987 Raw & Uncut Interview With Vox Pop” – Evidence of His Depth of Understanding
On December 30, 2006, during the public memorial service at the James Brown Arena, Shirley A. R. Lewis, president of Paine College, a historically black college in Augusta, Georgia, bestowed posthumously upon Brown an honorary doctorate in recognition and honor of his many contributions to the school in its times of need. Brown had originally been scheduled to receive the honorary doctorate from Paine College during its May 2007 commencement.
Music & Talk Shows – 1969 – Live on The Mike Douglas Show – James Brown – Performing a Medley Including ” I Got You (I Feel Good)” + “I Can’t Stand Myself” + “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” + ” I Got The Feeling” + “There Was A Time” + “Cold Sweat” + “Kansas City” – All In 19 Minutes….Incredible!!
During the 49th Annual Grammy Awards presentation on February 11, 2007, James Brown’s famous cape was draped over a microphone by Danny Ray at the end of a montage in honor of notable people in the music industry who died during the previous year. Earlier that evening, Christina Aguilera delivered an impassioned performance of Brown’s hit “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” followed by a standing ovation, while Chris Brown performed a dance routine in honor of James Brown.
Music & Live Concerts – 1976 – James Brown – Live at the Plaza de Toros Monumental Lorenzo Garza in Monterrey, Mexico – A Soul On Top Production Special – ” James Brown & The JBs Medley Performing “Get On The Good Foot” + “Sex Machine” + “Doing It To Death” + “Get Up Offa That Thing” + “It’s A Man’s Man’s World” – All in 18 Minutes!!
On August 17, 2013, the official R&B Music Hall of Fame honored and inducted James Brown at a ceremony held at the Waetjen Auditorium at Cleveland State University.
Music & Talk Shows – 1982 – James Brown – Live on Late Night with David Letterman – On Life on the Road + JB’s Thoughts Other Musicians with His Level of Energy
ART THE BOX began in early 2015 as a collaboration between three organizations: the City of Augusta, the Downtown Development Authority and the Greater Augusta Arts Council…..when 19 local artists were selected by a committee to create art on 23 local traffic signal control cabinets (TSCCs)…..as a competition was held to create the James Brown Tribute Box on the corner of James Brown Blvd. (9th Ave.) and Broad St…..when this box was designed and painted by local artist, Ms. Robbie Pitts Bellamy…..and has become a favorite photo opportunity to visitors and locals in Augusta, Georgia.
Music & Live Concerts – 1986 – James Brown – Live in Japan – A Soul On Top Production Special – ” James Brown & The JBs Medley Performing “Get On The Good Foot” + “Sex Machine” + “Doing It To Death” + “Get Up Offa That Thing” + “It’s A Man’s Man’s World” – All in 18 Minutes!!
“I have a lot of musical heroes but I think James Brown is at the top of the list”, remarked Public Enemy’s Chuck D. “Absolutely the funkiest man on Earth … In a black household, James Brown is part of the fabric – Motown, Stax, Atlantic and James Brown.”
Music & Boxing & Talk Shows – 1981 – Live Interview On The Tom Snyder Show – With Muhammad Ali + James Brown + Reverend Al Sharpton – On How Ali and The Godfather of Soul Are Uplifting Black People All Over the World
In 2023, Rolling Stone ranked Brown at # 44 on their list of the 200 Greatest Singers of All Time. On April 24, 2023, James Brown was inducted into the newly established Atlantic City Walk Of Fame presented by The National R&B Music Society Inc…..when his daughter Deanna Brown Thomas accepted the honor on his behalf…..as the unveiling and induction ceremony took place at Brighton Park in Atlantic City, NJ. Brown was inducted by Bowlegged Lou of the production team Full Force…..as other inductees included, Little Anthony & The Imperials, The Delfonics and Grover Washington Jr.
Music & Live Concerts – Soul Funk – James Brown – 1980 – Live in New York City – A ishouldwinagrammy Production Special – James Brown & The JBs Perform “It’s Too Funky In Here” + “Sex Machine” + “Try Me” + “Get On The Good Foot” + It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” + “Cold Sweat” et al
As a tribute to James Brown, the Rolling Stones covered the song, “I’ll Go Crazy” from Brown’s Live at the Apollo album, during their 2007 European tour. Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has remarked, “He [James Brown] was almost a musical genre in his own right and he changed and moved forward the whole time so people were able to learn from him.” On December 22, 2007, the 1st annual “Tribute Fit For the King of King Records” in honor of James Brown was held at the Madison Theater in Covington, Kentucky. The tribute, organized by Bootsy Collins, featured Tony Wilson as Young James Brown with appearances by Afrika Bambaataa, Chuck D of Public Enemy, the Soul Generals, Buckethead, Freekbass, Triage and many of Brown’s surviving family members…..as comedian Michael Coyer was the MC for the event. During the show, the mayor of Cincinnati proclaimed December 22 as James Brown Day
We have come to the conclusion that there is no doubt that he was anointed by God to bring a message with a path of hope for the poor and downtrodden…..and James Brown would the the artist to give the black people of the world an undeniable musical voice and artistry of dance…..for in our opinion here at ImaSportsPhile, James Brown was the chosen one by God to get the message out to all black folks around the world that the was indeed hope for each and every one of them to “get up off their knees and get into it”…..as God chose a man with boundless energy…..an “energizer bunny” if you will….. who right up until the day he died, took that wealth of energy abundance to the stage……while having the talent to pass that energy to his fans and listeners everywhere. James Brown spent a lifetime proving that he deserved the moniker of The Godfather of Soul…..who truly was the “Hardest Working Man in Show Business”…..and yet for every performance throughout his career right up to two days before his death, he showed up and showed out…..while giving everything he had as an entertainer to bring joy and excitement to his fans who paid for a ticket. From beginning to end, he was non-stop action, including some of his signature moves during every show…..albeit while being a person who came from nothing and carved out his own niche in this world to become the best at what he did…..simply by outworking everyone else. The truth be known, with a sunken in face and a depleted body due to his illness, James Brown came out on stage every night …..and showed everybody that he would not cheat the audience out of their entrance fee…..as he gave them the best show they could have ever imagined …..which was classic James Brown …..and albeit he was a taskmaster, but look and listen to the payoff…..while his transitions between the songs are the best…..for Mr. Dynamite was the coolest, smoothest, slickest performer who ever lived…..and his moves were like a tornado…..with so much control…. while leaving an aftermath of SOUL…..into an incredible frenzy called FUNK. Every instrument in his band is being used as percussion…..with the pop of the horns, the strumming of the guitar, the thump of the bass…..while this style makes his music hit point on…..and makes it all sound so funky…..cuz James Brown was immaculate…..with that voice, those moves, that rhythm and demanding perfection…..as hands down The Hardest Working Man In Show Business every time while he was singing live……with no studio magic, but rather with just pure talent…..and with perfect timing all around…..while dancing to pitch changes, to the ad libs and drum synchronization…..with absolute mastery…..a genius at work…..who will never be fully understood….. as he was a force of nature…..even though he made music that will last forever…..which is because he was one of the few artists that could write music that everyone from young to old can appreciate…..and that’s not easy to do…..while his influence cannot be overestimated (the story of his concert in Boston the night after the assassination of Dr. King is a perfect example). You can’t exaggerate James Brown’s influence on modern music…..whereby Gen X parents need to explain to their Gen Y and Z kids the link between their current pop favorites and James Brown. Every drum lesson should begin with the Funky Drummer breakbeat. What an iconic groove. Pretty much everything he played is a masterclass in creating a solid foundation. James Brown was absolutely unbelievable…..who was light years ahead…..which was evidenced by his music by 1969…..where the interplay between the horns and the rhythm section was the whole funk history in a nutshell. When you look at his majestic performances over his career….. which quite frankly beat any performance that Elvis Presley ever gave hands down…..cuz James Brown mastered the art of excitement…..while staying in the pocket…..but adding just enough. Perfection is doing no more and no less than needed…..and James Brown was a well-known perfectionist. It is one thing to write, play, conduct and perform with excellence…..albeit what we have trouble getting over here at ImaSportsPhile…..especially after writing stories about thousands of musical artist….which is the fact that James Brown was recording in 1949…..who then recreated himself every 10 years until 2006…. and best of all, he created the FUNK style all the while….. which has been the roots of endless genre’s of music including hip-hop….. which rose to the # 1 style of our day (2023). He was the greatest and most sampled entertainer and music ever around the globe. During the research process for this post, we can honestly assess that there was never enough acknowledgment for James Brown’s accomplishments…..who was far more than a singer/ artist/producer/ activist…..as a Legendary figure and a champion for people of all colors…..while his generosity to charities and events benefiting the plight of the poor and downtrodden all over the world was under represented…..for there is no question that he simply loved people…..with a heart of pure gold. He was against racism of all types…..while his huge contribution to the American culture was outstanding…..as he impacted millions of homes in the US throughout his 50+ years of entertaining folks. James Brown sang with his heart all of the time…..when he sang like his life depended on it because that is what he always knew…..as his performances were about survival and staying relevant. He wanted to please his audiences and give them their money’s worth every time. Having seen him close to his absolute twilight…..when he played live in Houston, Tx in 1998…..and one could tell that time caught up to him by then and was advancing, but man, he got down and sang like he was all in even then. James Brown will always be next to my heart….for he was like Superman except he was a real man…..and his Kryptonite was time and his own mind…..but he gave his all, that’s for sure, just “Doing it To Death”. So, in conclusion to this video showcase of the life and legend of The Godfather of Soul, Mr. Dynamite and Soul Brother # 1…..I just want to thank James Brown for teaching me how to dance….. especially as far back as at the “sock hops” at the Midland High School Youth Center in the early 1960’s. Godfather, thanks for the memories.
Music & Documentary Film – James Brown – 1978 – An R.M. Productions Special Film – “Soul Connection – The Story of James Brown”