View Full Version : Remembering James Brown

December 26th, 2006, 12:49 AM
This thread is to discuss the lasting impact the now-late Godfather of Soul has made on American culture and what he had brought to all of us. What is your favorite James Brown song? Do you think that the media treated him fairly or unfairly?

I don't think we can forget him anytime soon. He was like the fun neighborhood guy who you didn't want to leave the scene. That's not to say that he's perfect because he certainly was not, with his troubles with law through the years. However, I can certainly appreciative his accomplishments as an entertainer, a songwriter and someone who did pioneer many modern American musical forms. I don't think one post can truly describe what James Brown meant to music, so a thread is better.

And let's not forget he brought a lot of humor and joy to a lot of people at a time when everything else was looking to fall apart. Who couldn't be humored by him doing the split, the funky chicken, the camel walk and those other crazy dance moves he did? At least we know where Michael Jackson got his inspiration for "Dancing Machine". :D And the cape. We can't forget the cape. He somehow pulled that thing off quite well.

As for my favorite song, I can't go wrong with "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag". I can listened to that any time I need to stop being depressed. ;)

December 26th, 2006, 03:36 AM
This is a pretty good recap for people who are not too familiar with the "Godfather of Soul":

A critic's guide: The best of James Brown

http://images.usatoday.com/life/_photos/2006/12/26/brown-mugshot.jpg (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:;)

By Steve Jones
December 25, 2006

Here's how the music of the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business evolved during his career:

•Please, Please Please (1956): Brown's first big hit with the Famous Flames reflected his gospel and blues roots.

•Night Train (1961): Rhythm-heavy groove signaled a move away from standard R&B arrangements.

•Out of Sight (1964): Rawer, even more intense rhythm than Night Train.

•Papa's Got a Brand New Bag/I Got You (I Feel Good) (1965): By now, Brown's singing style had become as rhythmic as the music. Bag earned him his first Grammy.

•It's a Man's Man's Man's World (1966): Brown smoldered on this signature ballad, confessing that a man's world "wouldn't be nothing without a woman or a girl."

•Cold Sweat (1967): One of funk's finest moments.

•Say It Loud — I'm Black and I'm Proud (1968) and I Don't Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Just Open Up the Door, I'll Get It Myself) (1969): Messages about black pride and self-determination that enticed you to get up off of that thang.

•Get Up (I Feel Like Being Like a Sex Machine) (1970): Brown entered the decade with a new band, The JB's, that saw bassist Bootsy Collins and his brother, Phelps "Catfish" Collins, joining trombonist Fred Wesley and saxophonist Maceo Parker.

•Super Bad (1970): Brown at his energetic best.

•The Payback (1973): Brown did the soundtracks from blaxploitation films Black Caesar and Slaughter's Big Rip-Off this year. This revenge theme is in a similar mode.

•Bodyheat (1976): By now, Brown's artistic inventiveness was waning and disco elements were starting to creep into his music.

•Living in America (1985): Brown's biggest hit in years and his second Grammy winner. He performed the song in Rocky IV.

•I'm Real (1988): Brown teams with hip-hop stars Full Force to boast of his rap status.

Three key albums that showcase the James Brown experience:

•Live at the Apollo (1963): Brown was an artist who had to be experienced, not simply heard. This self-financed concert album helped him cross over to mainstream audiences and convinced record executives that live albums could sell.

•Revolution of the Mind — Live at the Apollo, Vol. III (1971): These live recordings captured Brown performing songs from his most productive period, the mid-'60s and early '70s.

•Star Time (1991): This four-CD collection spans the 28 years between 1956's Please, Please, Please and 1984's Unity. The 71 tracks capture Papa in all his various musical bags. A more succinct James Brown— 20 All-Time Greatest Hits! package was culled from the box set.


December 26th, 2006, 09:41 AM
Very LOW of USA Today to use that photo ^^^ as a Remembrance of the Hardest Working Man In Show Business.

Out of respect for the GREAT work James Brown did over the years ...




December 26th, 2006, 11:24 PM
James Brown will be at New York City's Apollo theater one more time.

James Brown's Body to Lie at Apollo

By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New York (AP) -- The body of soul singer James Brown will be returned Thursday to the site of his debut — the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem — so the public that saw and heard him leave a lasting impression on music can see him one last time, the Rev. Al Sharpton said Tuesday.

Brown's body will rest on the stage of the Apollo from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., and thousands of people will be permitted one more look at a man who steered modern music toward the rhythm-and-blues, funk, hip-hop, disco and rap beats popular today, said Sharpton, a close friend of Brown for decades.

"It would almost be unthinkable for a man who lived such a sensational life to go away quietly," Sharpton told The Associated Press in an interview from Georgia, where he was making funeral arrangements with Brown's children.

Sharpton said he and the children viewed Brown's body Tuesday.

"I looked at his body. I was walking in half disbelief and sadness but proud," he said. "I couldn't even begin to describe it, to walk around his house and he not be there."

Sharpton said the public Apollo viewing will be followed by a private ceremony Friday in Brown's hometown, Augusta, Ga., and another public ceremony, officiated by Sharpton, a day later at the James Brown Arena there.

"His greatest thrill was always the lines around the Apollo Theater," Sharpton said of the 125th Street landmark. "I felt that James Brown in all the years we talked would have wanted one last opportunity to let the people say goodbye to him and he to the people."

Brown, known as the Godfather of Soul, died of congestive heart failure on Christmas morning in Atlanta at age 73. He had been scheduled to perform on New Year's Eve in Manhattan at B.B. King's blues club.

Sharpton said he and Brown's children talked Tuesday about the moment after the Rev. Martin Luther King's assassination when Brown stepped to a microphone and told gathering crowds of angry people to go home.

"And they went home," Sharpton said. "For them to riot for a man who lived a life of peace would send the wrong message. He always said he was surprised and humbled that he had that influence."

Sharpton said Brown was "always very sensitive as to how people could be remembered."

The Apollo began recruiting and showcasing talent in 1934. Early acts included "Pigmeat" Markham and Jackie "Moms" Mabley. Before long, Lena Horne, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin and Brown were making their debuts. Audiences cheered the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Michael Jackson, Fats Waller, Fats Domino, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Sammy Davis Jr. and Nina Simone.

Comedians such as Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor performed, too.

Sharpton said he had been like a son to Brown since they met in 1973, introduced by Brown's son, Teddy, shortly before the teenager died in a car crash.

He said the son had wanted to encourage his father's support for Sharpton's youth organization, leading Brown to begin a lifelong commitment to Sharpton's civil-rights projects.

"I became the son he lost," Sharpton said.

Sharpton said Brown always knew his place in history.

"He used to tell me, `There are two American originals, Elvis and me,'" Sharpton said. " 'Elvis is gone, and I've got to carry on.' "

Brown's agent, Frank Copsidas, said family members have requested that in lieu of flowers, contribution be made to the James Brown Music Education Foundation, which provides scholarships for aspiring musicians. The address is James Brown Music Education Foundation c/o Intrigue Music, 601 W. 26th St., Suite 1080, New York, N.Y. 10001.

AP Writer Harry R. Weber in Atlanta contributed to this story.


Does anybody know if this viewing should be posted under "NYC events" on this site?

December 29th, 2006, 08:47 AM
December 29, 2006

A Loud, Proud Send-Off for an Icon of Soul


James Brown gave one last show in Harlem yesterday, three days after his death, in a golden coffin lined with white velvet, on the flower-bedecked stage of the famed Apollo Theater, before a crowd of thousands who had lined up for blocks to see him.

Mr. Brown’s body arrived beneath the Apollo’s red-neon sign just before 1 p.m. in a white-painted carriage pulled by two white horses with feathery plumes atop their heads. The carriage was small, with tall windows and white curtains with silver fringe. Two solemn men sat atop it, guiding the horses, and Mr. Brown’s friends and associates and Harlem dignitaries walked alongside and behind it.

Hundreds who lined 125th Street outside the theater on a chilly, overcast afternoon cheered and applauded. Helicopters hovered. Photographers aimed their cameras from the surrounding rooftops. A guy hawked commemorative T-shirts for $10. Mr. Brown’s cries and exultations filled the street, blaring from one of his concert videos playing on a beat-up television mounted above a sign for Uptown Tattoos. A chant rose up: “James Brown! James Brown! James Brown!”

When the theater’s doors finally opened, people began streaming in for a public viewing. They walked up a few stairs and stepped onto the red-carpeted stage, where Mr. Brown’s body lay in an open coffin, washed in white and gold stage lights. The coffin was made of 16-gauge steel with a gold paint finish. Mr. Brown was wearing a cobalt, sequined satin suit with white gloves and pointed silvery shoes. Loudspeakers played his breakthrough album, “Live at the Apollo,” recorded Oct. 24, 1962.

Women wearing veils approached. A man in a suit dropped to his knees and crossed his heart. One couple broke into a brief dance. “Right now,” Mr. Brown said on the loudspeakers, in a snippet of between-song banter, “I’m going to get up and do my thing.”

Mr. Brown did his thing yesterday: he put on a show. Throughout the day, thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, formed two lines on 125th Street outside the Apollo, one to its east and one to its west, each one filling up 125th Street, reaching the corner and then stretching for blocks up Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, forming a giant U. Some had been waiting since midnight Wednesday.

“We’re sending him out in the style he lived,” said Nellie Williams, 58, of Greer, S.C., who stood near the front of one line. “He was a man that had to be seen and heard.” She brought her daughter, and a copy of an oil painting her brother did of Mr. Brown, his pompadour perfectly teased, his shirt open, his smile wide. “I want to show my last respects for his last show in New York,” Ms. Williams added.

Mr. Brown, 73, died of congestive heart failure early Monday in Atlanta. He was remembered, during a private ceremony for family and friends at the Apollo, and amid the lines of fans standing outside for the public viewing, as a singer, dancer, bandleader, funk pioneer, entrepreneur, black-pride icon and entertainer who many said transformed American pop music and African-American culture.

A private ceremony will be held today near Augusta, Ga., Mr. Brown’s adopted hometown, and a public service is set for tomorrow at the James Brown Arena in Augusta.

Yesterday, the somber pageantry that accompanies the death of a dignitary could be found on the streets of Harlem, retuned for the death of a showman in the nation’s black cultural capital. The spectacle — the horse-drawn hearse gliding down 125th Street, the Apollo temporarily transformed into a funeral parlor, the crowds of admirers waiting in line for up to five hours to say a prayer near the coffin — made clear this was a different kind of funeral for a different kind of man. This was a man who personified, as the headwaiter at a soul-food restaurant put it, “the outrageous expression of life.”

Mr. Brown’s journey to Harlem began in Augusta the day before. A white hearse carrying his body left the city about 9:30 p.m., accompanied by the Rev. Al Sharpton, a longtime friend who considered Mr. Brown a father figure. Fourteen hours later, about 11:30 a.m., the hearse pulled up to Mr. Sharpton’s National Action Network headquarters on West 145th Street in Harlem.

Outside the headquarters, it was impossible to tell people were waiting for a hearse. One man played a bongo drum, and someone else played the upbeat funk of “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” on a portable stereo. The carriage waited, and so did the horses, Commander and Whitey, and the man who would hold the reins, Vet Harris, 66. “It’s an honor,” Mr. Harris said. “It’s beautiful.”

When the golden coffin was removed from the hearse and placed in the carriage, there was applause. Some onlookers cried. A group of friends and dignitaries assembled behind the carriage for the march down Lenox Avenue to the Apollo, among them Mr. Sharpton; Frank Copsidas, Mr. Brown’s agent; Ali Woodson, former lead singer of the Temptations; and the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, pastor of the House of the Lord Pentecostal Church in Brooklyn.

Outside the Apollo, throughout the morning and into the evening, hordes of people assembled on both sides of 125th Street behind metal police barricades. They were a largely black crowd, young women and retired men, elderly couples and families with children. Mr. Brown’s tunes played from storefronts, and women danced to the beat and sang along to his 1968 song “Say It Loud — I’m Black and I’m Proud.” His image was everywhere: On T-shirts, posters, paintings people brought from home. The computerized Apollo marquee read, “Rest in Peace Apollo Legend, The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, 1933-2006.”

Burnis Hall, 65, stood near Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard with his wife. They were on vacation from Lathrup Village, Mich. “I first saw him in 1959, in Amarillo, Tex., when I was young airman in the Air Force,” Mr. Hall said of Mr. Brown. They stood with others in the chilly wind, struggling for the words to capture the legacy of a man who worked hard to defy convention. “Here’s an old guy that’s been there since the mid-’50s, still active in 2006,” Mr. Hall said. “How can you ignore this person?”

Nearly everyone had a James Brown story. They wanted to talk about the time they jumped on stage and danced with him, or met him at a party, or, like Samuel A. Herbert of Buffalo, once shined his black boots behind the Apollo. “He gave me $5 and he touched me on my shoulder and said, ‘God bless and be in courage,’ ” said Mr. Herbert, 57, retired from his work as a cancer research technician.

Inside during the viewing, Mr. Sharpton stood near the coffin, which was flanked by sprays of white lilies, white carnations and red and white roses. One flower arrangement spelled out “J B”; another, “Godfather.” A velvet rope kept people in the fast-moving line several feet from the coffin. Mr. Brown’s friends and family members sat in the first several rows of seats.

Tomi Rae Brown was there, dressed in black, chewing gum and passing out pink roses to Mr. Brown’s relatives. Ms. Brown has described herself as Mr. Brown’s wife, but his lawyer has depicted her as the singer’s partner, and she was barred from his South Carolina home a day after his death. “He’s my husband and the father of my child,” she said. “I’m mourning.”

About 6 p.m., the public viewing was interrupted for a service for Mr. Brown’s family, friends and the news media. “One era had a Bach, another had a Beethoven, but we had Brown,” Mr. Sharpton told the few hundred who sat in the Apollo. He said that those close to Mr. Brown decided Wednesday evening that he deserved a special procession and a special coffin. “We had some 30 people offering their planes, but because of the weight of the casket, we couldn’t get an ordinary flight,” Mr. Sharpton said. “I said, ‘I’ll tell you what, we’ll drive.’ ”

Mr. Sharpton said the public viewing was being extended by an hour, to 9 p.m., to accommodate the hundreds outside who still wanted to pay their respects. At 9:20, the police announced that no one else would be allowed inside, and the few hundred people remaining moved across the street.

During the service, Mr. Sharpton called six of Mr. Brown’s children to the stage, where they held hands. Then he introduced Charles Bobbit, Mr. Brown’s personal manager, and Ms. Brown, who spoke through tears. “My name is Tomi Rae Brown,” she said. “I love that man, and I have loved that man since the day I met him.”

Mr. Bobbit was with Mr. Brown when he died in Atlanta. “Before he passed, he said, ‘I think I’m going to leave you tonight,’ ” Mr. Bobbit recalled. “I said, ‘You’re not going anywhere.’ ”

Cassi Feldman and Eric Konigsberg contributed reporting.

Thousands of fans and mourners — some singing and dancing, some crying and praying — gathered at the Apollo Theater in Harlem to pay respects to James Brown.

A white carriage drawn by two white Percheron horses carried Brown's coffin to the Apollo Theater.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

January 1st, 2007, 10:53 AM
Weird Al's sendup of Living in America, "Living with a Hernia," is his all-time best parody...a fitting and respectful tribute to the one and only James Brown. As for the passing of James Brown, let me lift a line from that song: I feel bad!!