Monday, December 25, 2006

James Brown (1933 - 2006)

James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul" has died at the age of 73 from pneumonia. Brown is among a select group of entertainers ( like Marvin Gaye, Fats Domino, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Elton John, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Temptations, The Supremes, Elvis Presley, and Madonna) who can lay claim to having 30 or more hits during the Rock era. Brown revitalized his career in 1987 with the song "Living In America" from one of the Rocky sequels. Brown's unforgettable dance numbers "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag", "I Feel Good (I Got You)","Cold Sweat" "There Was A Time", "Licking Stick", "Soul Power", "Hot Pants (She's got to use what she got to get what she wants)" are all legendary but Brown also had a sensitive side which was seen on hits like "It's A Man's, Man's, Man's, Man's World" "I Cry" and "Please, Please, Please". In his lifetime Brown did have problems with the law regarding car theft (in his youth) and drug use, but what I will always remember James Brown for was his appeal for calm during the Harlem riots of 1964. Brown went out among the people and spoke to his fans, disregarding his own personal safety during a riot. A few years later he recorded the song "Say It Loud I'm Black And I'm Proud" , which became an anthem. Like Ray Charles, Brown came from very humble beginnings. He did buck dancing for troops stationed in Georgia. He danced for the nickels and dimes that they threw at his feet. It is ironic that in the same year 2006 we lost "Soul Brother #1" and "Soul Brother #2 (Wilson Pickett). Cch’s all-time James Brown favorites:

1.There Was A Time
2.Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag
3.It’s A Man’s, Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s World
4.Living In America
5.Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud
6.I Got You (I Feel Good)
7.I Cried
8.Cold Sweat
9.Get On The Goodfoot (Part One)
10. Out Of Sight

No comments: