R.I.P. James Brown

James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul" has died at 73.

Along with Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and a handful of others, Brown was one of the major musical influences of the past 50 years. At least one generation idolized him, and sometimes openly copied him. His rapid-footed dancing inspired Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson among others. Songs such as David Bowie's "Fame," Prince's "Kiss," George Clinton's "Atomic Dog" and Sly and the Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song" were clearly based on Brown's rhythms and vocal style.

...Born in poverty in Barnwell, S.C., in 1933, he was abandoned as a 4-year-old to the care of relatives and friends and grew up on the streets of Augusta, Ga., in an "ill-repute area," as he once called it. There he learned to wheel and deal.

"I wanted to be somebody," Brown said.

He was somebody. Rest in peace, James Brown.

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  • Display: Sort:
    James Brown 1933-2006 (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Mon Dec 25, 2006 at 07:28:18 AM EST
    The Godfather of Soul...yes he brought the funk but just as important as his indelible musical influences were his contributions to the social consciousness of the 1960s. "Say It Loud" remains one of the most unforgettbale anthems of empowerment of the Civil Rights era.

    What a great thing to say about him JM! (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 25, 2006 at 07:39:10 AM EST
    He was somebody.

    They'll be staying up later now wherever he is...

    RIP (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Mon Dec 25, 2006 at 10:42:15 AM EST
    I saw him a few years ago and he was still doing his split. Wherever he goes, they are in for a good show. What a genius.

    J.B. (none / 0) (#4)
    by digaman on Mon Dec 25, 2006 at 10:53:29 AM EST
    "If you don't allow a man to have an education, don't lock him up in jail for being dumb."

           -- James Brown, July 2, 2006, UK Independent

    It will go one (none / 0) (#5)
    by koshembos on Mon Dec 25, 2006 at 11:44:39 AM EST
    Mandela, Ghandi, King, ... Brown - Brown power

    My hat is off.

    Nice post on J. Brown (none / 0) (#7)
    by Gabriel Malor on Mon Dec 25, 2006 at 10:07:42 PM EST
    CraigC wrote a very nice memory of James Brown from 1965. It's here at Protein Wisdom.

    What a guy! (none / 0) (#8)
    by caramel on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 04:12:42 PM EST
    Words can't describe.... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 05:07:45 PM EST
    the musical impact of James Brown.

    If I were a religous man I'd say Jesus needed a headliner for his birthday bash and went with the best.