James Joseph Brown (May 3,
1933 – December 25, 2006), originally James Joseph
Brown, Jr., also known as "The
Godfather of Soul", was an American entertainer.
He is recognized as one of
the most influential figures in 20th century popular music
and was renowned for his vocals
and feverish dancing. He was also called "the hardest working man
in show business".
As a prolific singer
, Brown was a pivotal force in
the music industry. He left his mark on numerous artists. Brown's
music also left its mark on the rhythms of African popular music
, such as
and provided a template for go-go
Brown began his professional music career in 1956 and rose to fame
during the late 1950s and early 1960s on the strength of his
thrilling live performances and string of smash hits. In spite of
various personal problems and setbacks he continued to score hits
in every decade through the 1980s. In addition to his acclaim in
music, Brown was also a presence in American political affairs
during the 1960s and 1970s.
Brown was recognized by numerous titles
including Soul Brother Number One
, Sex Machine
, The Hardest Working Man in Show
, The King of Funk
, Minister of The New
New Super Heavy Funk
, Mr. Please Please Please Please
, I Feel Good
, and foremost The Godfather of
. In the song "Sweet Soul
" by Arthur Conley
, he is
described as the King of Soul.
Brown was born to Susie (née Behlings) and Joseph ("Joe")
James Gardner (who changed his name to Brown after Mattie Brown who
raised him) in the small town of Barnwell, South
Carolina in the Jim Crow South
during the Depression era.
Although Brown was to be named after his father, his name was
mistakenly reversed on his birth certificate, and instead became
James Joseph Brown, Jr.
As a young child, Brown
was called Junior
. When he later lived with his aunt and
cousin, he was called Little Junior
since his cousin's
nickname was also Junior
. James Brown is of Native American
, descent through his
father, and also of African
Brown and his family lived in extreme
. When Brown was two years old, his parents separated
after his mother left his father for another man. After his mother
abandoned the family, Brown continued to live with his father and
his live-in girlfriends until he was six years old. After that time, Brown
and his father moved to Augusta, Georgia.
His father sent him to live with an aunt, who ran a house of
. Even though Brown lived
with relatives, he spent long stretches of time on his own, hanging
out on the streets and hustling
to get by.
Brown managed to stay in school until he dropped out in the seventh
During his childhood, Brown earned money shining shoes, sweeping
out stores, selling and trading in old stamps, washing cars and
dishes and singing in talent contests. Brown also performed
buck dances for change to entertain troops
Gordon at the start of World War
II as their convoys traveled over a canal bridge near his
Between earning money from these adventures,
Brown taught himself to play a harmonica given to him by his
father. He learned to play some guitar from Tampa Red
(who was "dating" one of the girls from
his aunt's house), in addition to learning to play piano and drums
from others. Brown was inspired to become an entertainer after
watching Louis Jordan
, a popular
performer during the 1940s, and His Tympany
in a short film performing "Caldonia
As an adult, Brown legally changed his name to remove the "Jr."
designation. In his spare time, Brown spent time practicing his
various skills in Augusta-area stalls and committing petty crimes.
At the age
of sixteen, he was convicted of armed robbery and sent to a
juvenile detention center
upstate in Toccoa in
While Brown was in reform school, he became acquainted with
, who first saw Brown perform
in prison. Byrd watched and admired Brown's ability to sing and
perform. Byrd's family helped Brown secure an early release after
serving three years of his sentence. The authorities agreed
to release Brown on the condition that he would get a job and not
return to Augusta or Richmond County.
After stints as a boxer
and baseball pitcher
semi-professional baseball (a career move ended by a leg injury),
Brown turned his energy toward music.
Brown's career spanned decades, and profoundly influenced the
development of many different musical genres. Brown moves on a
continuum of blues and gospel-based forms and styles to a
profoundly Africanised approach to music making. Brown performed in
concerts, first making his rounds across the "chitlin' circuit
", and then across the
country and later around the world, along with appearing in shows
on television and in movies. Although he contributed much to the
music world through his hitmaking, Brown held the record as the
artist who charted the most singles on the Billboard Hot 100
without ever hitting
number one on that chart.
1955: The Famous Flames
In 1955, Brown and Bobby Byrd
Sarah performed in a group called "The Gospel Starlighters".
Eventually, Brown joined Bobby Byrd's vocal group, the Avons, and
Byrd turned the group's sound towards secular rhythm and blues
. After the group's name
was changed to The Flames, Brown and Byrd's group toured the
Southern "chitlin' circuit
eventually signed a deal with the Cincinnati, Ohio-based label Federal
Records, a sister label of King
The group's first recording was the single
"Please, Please, Please
" (1956). The
single was a #5 R&B hit, selling over a million copies. Nine
subsequent singles released by The Flames failed to live up to the
success of their debut, and the group was in danger of being
dropped by King Records.
Brown's early recordings were fairly straightforward
gospel-inspired R&B compositions, heavily influenced by the
work of contemporary musicians such as Ray
and Little Richard
Little Richard's relations with Brown were particularly significant
in Brown's development as a musician and showman. Brown once called
Richard his idol, and credited Richard's saxophone
-studded mid-1950s road band, The
Upsetters, with being the first to put the funk in the rock and
roll beat. When Richard left pop music in 1957 to become a
preacher, Brown filled out Richard's remaining tour dates in his
place. Several former members of Little Richard's backup band
joined Brown's group after Richard's exit from the pop music
Brown's group returned to the charts to stay in 1958 with the #1
R&B hit "Try Me
". This hit record
was the best-selling R&B single of the year, becoming the first
of 17 chart-topping R&B singles by Brown over the next two
decades. By the time "Try Me" was released on record, the group's
billing was changed to James Brown and The Famous Flames
. "The Famous Flames" was
a vocal group, not a backing band.
In 1959, Brown and The Famous Flames moved from the Federal Records
subsidiary to King Records, the parent label. Brown began to have
recurring conflicts with King Records president Syd Nathan
over repertoire and other matters. In
one notable instance, Brown recorded the 1960 Top Ten R&B hit "
" on Dade
Records, owned by Henry Stone
, under the
"Nat Kendrick & The Swans"
because Nathan refused to allow him to record it for King.
Early and mid-1960s
Brown scored on the charts in the early 1960s with recordings such
as his 1962 cover of "Night
". While Brown's early singles were major hits across the
southern United States
regular R&B Top Ten hits, he and the Famous Flames were not
successful nationally until his self-financed live show was
captured on the 1963 LP Live at the Apollo
Brown financed the recording of the album himself, and it was
released on King Records over the objections of label owner Syd
Nathan, who saw no commercial potential in a live album
containing no new songs. Defying
Nathan's expectations, the album stayed on the pop charts for
fourteen months, peaking at #2. In addition, Brown recorded a hit
version of the ballad "Prisoner of
", (his first Top 20 pop hit), in 1963 and founded (under
King auspices) the fledgling Try Me
, Brown's first attempt at running a record label
followed the success of Live at the Apollo with a string
of singles that, along with the work of Allen Toussaint in New
Orleans, essentially defined the foundation of funk
Driven by the success of Live at the Apollo
and the failure of King Records to expand record promotion beyond
the "black" market, James Brown and fellow Famous Flame Bobby Byrd
formed a production company, Fair Deal, to promote sales of Brown's
record releases to white audiences. In this arrangement, Smash Records
, a subsidiary of Mercury Records
, was used as a vehicle to
distribute Brown's music. Smash released his 1964 hit "Out of Sight
", which reached #24 on the
pop charts and pointed the way to his later funk hits. Its release
also triggered a legal battle between Smash and King that resulted
in a one year ban on the release of Brown's vocal recordings.
During the mid-1960s, two of Brown's signature tunes "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag
"I Got You
", both from
1965, were his first Top 10 pop hits, as well as major #1 R&B
hits, with each remaining the top-selling singles in black venues
for over a month. In 1966, Brown's "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" won
for Best Rhythm & Blues
Recording (an award last given in 1968). Brown's national profile
was boosted further that year by appearances in the movie
and the concert film The T.A.M.I. Show
, in which he and The Famous
Flames (Bobby Byrd, Bobby Bennett and "Baby Lloyd" Stallworth)
upstaged The Rolling Stones
concert repertoire and on record, Brown mingled his innovative
rhythmic essays with Broadway show tunes
and ballads, such as his hit "It's a Man's Man's Man's
As the 1960s decade neared its end, Brown continued to refine the
new funk idiom. Brown's 1967 #1 R&B hit, "Cold Sweat
", sometimes cited as the first true
funk song, was the first of his recordings to contain a drum
and the first that featured a
harmony that was reduced to a single chord change
. The instrumental
arrangements on tracks such as "Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose
and "Licking Stick-Licking
" (both recorded in 1968) and "Funky Drummer
" (recorded in 1969) featured a
more developed version of Brown's mid-1960s style, with the
meshed together in intricate rhythmic patterns
based on multiple interlocking riffs
Changes in Brown's style that started with "Cold Sweat" also
established the musical foundation for Brown's later hits, such as
"I Got the Feelin'
" (1968) and
" (1969). By this time
Brown's vocals frequently took the form of a kind of rhythmic
declamation, not quite sung but not quite spoken, that only
intermittently featured traces of pitch
would become a major influence on the techniques of rapping
, which would come to maturity along with
hip hop music
in the coming
November 1967 James Brown purchased radio station WGYW in Knoxville,
Tennessee for a reported $75,000, according to the January
20, 1968 Record World
The call letters were changed to WJBE reflecting
his initials. WJBE began on January 15, 1968 and broadcast a Rhythm
& Blues format. The station slogan was "WJBE 1430 Raw Soul". At
the time it was mentioned "Brown has also branched out into real
estate and music publishing in recent months".
Brown's recordings influenced musicians across the industry, most
and his Family Stone
Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
, Booker T. & the M.G.'s
shouters like Edwin Starr
, Temptations David
, and Dennis Edwards
then-prepubescent Michael Jackson
took Brown's shouts and dancing into the pop mainstream as the lead
singer of Motown
's The Jackson 5
. Those same tracks were later
resurrected by countless hip-hop musicians from the 1970s onward.
As a result, James Brown remains to this day the world's most
recording artist, with
"Funky Drummer" itself becoming the most sampled individual piece
Brown's band during this period employed musicians and arrangers
who had come up through the jazz tradition. He was noted for his
ability as a bandleader
to blend the simplicity and drive of
R&B with the rhythmic complexity and precision of jazz
. Trumpeter Lewis Hamlin and
saxophonist/keyboardist Alfred "Pee Wee"
(the successor to previous bandleader Nat Jones) led the
band. Guitarist Jimmy Nolen
percussive, deceptively simple riffs
song, and Maceo Parker
saxophone solos provided a focal point for many performances. Other
members of Brown's band included stalwart singer and sideman Bobby
Byrd, drummers John "Jabo" Starks
, Clyde Stubblefield
and Melvin Parker
(Maceo's brother), saxophonist
St. Clair Pinckney
, guitarist Alphonso
"Country" Kellum and bassist Bernard
During this period, Brown's music empire also expanded along with
his influence on the music scene. As Brown's music empire grew, his
desire for financial and artistic independence grew as well. Brown
bought radio stations during the late 1960s, including radio
station WRDW in Augusta, Georgia where he shined shoes as a boy.
Brown also branched out to make several recordings with musicians
outside his own band. He recorded Gettin' Down To It
(1969) and Soul on Top
two albums consisting mostly of romantic ballads and jazz standards
, with the Dee Felice Trio and
the Louie Bellson
respectively. He recorded a number of tracks with the Dapps, a
white Cincinnati bar band, including the hit "I Can't Stand Myself
(When You Touch Me)". He also released three albums of Christmas music
with his own band.
1970s and the J.B.'s
By 1970, most members of James Brown's classic 1960s band had quit
his act for other opportunities, and The Famous Flames singing
group had disbanded, with original member Bobby Byrd the only one
remaining with Brown. Brown and Byrd employed a new band that
included future funk greats, such as bassist Bootsy Collins
, Collins' guitarist brother
Phelps "Catfish" Collins
and musical director Fred Wesley
. This new backing band
was dubbed "The J.B.'s
", and the band made its debut on
Brown's 1970 single "Get Up Sex
". Although The J.B.'s went through several lineup
changes, with the first change occurring in 1971, the band remained
Brown's most familiar backing band.
In 1971, Brown began recording for Polydor Records
which also took over
distribution of Brown's King Records catalog. Many of his sidemen
and supporting players, such as Fred Wesley & The J.B.'s,
, Vicki Anderson
, released records on the
label, an imprint founded by
Brown that was purchased by Polydor as part of Brown's new
contract. The recordings on the People label, almost all of which
were produced by Brown himself, exemplified his "house style".
Songs such as "I
Know You Got Soul
" by Bobby Byrd, "Think
" by Lyn Collins and "Doing It to Death
" by Fred Wesley &
The J.B.'s are considered as much a part of Brown's recorded legacy
as the recordings released under his own name.
In 1973, Brown provided the score for the blaxploitation
film Black Caesar
. In 1974, he toured
Africa and performed in Zaire as part of
the buildup to the Rumble in the
Jungle fight between Muhammad Ali
and George Foreman.
of Brown's music, including Miles Davis
and other jazz musicians, began to cite Brown as a major influence
on their own styles. However, Brown, like others who were
influenced by his music, also "borrowed" from other musicians. His
1976 single "Hot" (I Need To Be Loved, Loved, Loved, Loved)"
(R&B #31) borrowed the main riff
" by David Bowie
, not the other way around as was
often believed. The riff was provided to "Fame" co-writers John Lennon
and Bowie by guitarist Carlos Alomar
Brown's Polydor recordings during the 1970s exemplified his
innovations from the previous twenty years. Compositions such as
" (1973), "Papa Don't Take No Mess
", "Stoned to
the Bone", and "Funky
" (1974), and "Get
Up Offa That Thing
" (1976) were among his most noted recordings
during this time.
Late 1970s and 1980s
By the mid-1970s, Brown's star-status was on the wane, and key
musicians in his band such as Fred Wesley left to join Parliament-Funkadelic
. The onslaught
of the slickly commercial style of disco
caught Brown off guard, as it superseded his raw style of funk
music on the dance floor. His 1976 albums Get Up Offa That
were Brown's first flirtations
with disco rhythms and its slicker production techniques. While the
albums Mutha's Nature
(1977) and Jam 1980s
did not generate chart hits, Brown's 1979 LP The Original Disco
was a notable late addition to his oeuvre. This album
featured the song "It's Too Funky in Here", which was his last top
R&B hit of the decade. Like the rest of songs on the The
Original Disco Man
LP, "It's Too Funky in Here" was not
produced by Brown himself, but produced instead by Brad
Brown's contract with Polydor expired in 1981, and his recording
and touring schedule was somewhat reduced. Despite these events,
Brown experienced something of a resurgence during the 1980s,
effectively crossing over to a broader, more mainstream audience.
He appeared in the feature films The Blues Brothers
, Doctor Detroit
and Rocky IV
, as well as guest starring
in the Miami Vice
episode "Missing Hours" (1988).
He also recorded Gravity
, a modestly popular crossover
album released on his new host
label Scotti Bros.
, and the
top 10 hit 1985 single "Living
", which was featured prominently in the Rocky
film and soundtrack
. Brown performed the
song in the film at Apollo Creed's final fight, shot in the
Ziegfeld Room at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and was credited as "The Godfather of Soul".
In 1987, Brown won the Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal
Performance for "Living in America". Acknowledging his influence on
modern hip-hop and R&B music, Brown collaborated with hip-hop
artist Afrika Bambaataa
In 1988, Brown worked with the production team Full Force
on the hip-hop influenced album
, which spawned a #5 R&B hit single, "Static".
Meanwhile, the drum break
from the second version of the original 1969 hit "Give It Up Or
Turnit A Loose" (the recording included on the compilation album
In the Jungle Groove
became so popular at hip hop dance parties (especially for breakdance
) during the late 1970s and early
1980s that hip hop founding father Kurtis
called the song "the national anthem of hip hop".
1990s to the 2000s
James Brown on December 23, 2006, two
days before his death on December 25, 2006.
After a stint in prison during the late 1980s, Brown released the
album Love Overdue
, with the new single "Move On". Brown
also released the 1991 four-CD box set
, which included music
spanning his four-decade career at that time. Nearly all of his
earlier LPs were re-released on CD, often with additional tracks
and commentary by experts on Brown's music. In 1991, Brown appeared
in MC Hammer
's video "Too Legit to Quit
" (or "2 Legit 2
Quit"), someone Hammer idolized. In 1993, James Brown released the
album Universal James
, which spawned the singles "Can't
Get Any Harder", "How Long" and "Georgia-Lina". In 1995, the live
album Live at the Apollo 1995
was released, featuring the
new studio track "Respect Me", which was released as a single that
same year.Brown followed up this single with the megamix
"Hooked on Brown" that was released as a
single in 1996. Brown's later LP releases during this time included
the 1998 studio album I'm Back
that featured the single
"Funk on ah Roll", and the 2002 album The Next Step
featured the single "Killing is Out, School is In," both produced
and co-written by Derrick Monk. Brown participated in the PBS American Masters
television documentary James Brown: Soul
, which was directed by Jeremy
Although Brown had various run-ins with the law, he continued to
perform and record regularly, and he also made appearances in
television shows and films, such as Blues Brothers 2000
, and sporting
events, such as his 2000 appearance at the World Championship Wrestling
pay-per-view event SuperBrawl X
. In Brown's
appearance at the SuperBrawl X event, he danced alongside wrestler
Ernest "The Cat" Miller
character was based on Brown, during his in ring skit with The Maestro
. Brown was featured in Tony Scott
's 2001 short
, Beat the Devil
, alongside Clive Owen
, Danny Trejo
and Marilyn Manson
. Brown also made a cameo appearance
in the 2002 Jackie Chan
, in which Chan was required to finish Brown's act
after Brown was accidentally knocked out by Chan. In 2002, Brown
appeared in Undercover
, playing the role as himself.
Brown appeared at Edinburgh 50,000 - The Final
, 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".
performed a duet with another British pop star, Joss Stone, a week earlier on the United
Kingdom chat show Friday Night with Jonathan
Before his death, Brown was scheduled to
perform a duet with singer Annie Lennox
on the song "Vengeance" for her new album Venus
for release in early 2007. In 2006, Brown continued his "Seven
Decades Of Funk World Tour", his last concert tour where he
performed all over the world. His last shows were greeted with
positive reviews, and one of his final concert appearances at the
Irish Oxegen festival in
Punchestown in 2006
was performed for a record crowd of 80,000
people. Brown's last televised appearance was at his induction into
the UK Music Hall of Fame
November 2006, before his death the following month.
James Brown Revue
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. The bands
that he maintained during the late 1960s and 1970s were of
comparable size, and the bands also included a three-piece
amplified string section that played during ballads. Brown employed
between 40 and 50 people for the James Brown Revue, and members of
the revue traveled with him in a bus to cities and towns all over
the country, performing upwards of 330 shows a year with almost all
of the shows as one-nighters.
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
album, 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, national
and international[ly] 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" ...
"Bewildered" ...the million dollar
seller, "Lost Someone" ... the very
latest release, "Night Train" ... let's
everybody "Shout and Shimmy" ...
Mr. Dynamite, the amazing Mr. Please Please himself, the star of
the show, James Brown and The Famous
Among the MCs who worked with Brown and his revue through the
years, Brown's most famous MC was Danny Ray, who appeared on stage
with him for over 30 years.
Concert repertoire and format
Brown and MC Danny Ray during cape
routine, BBC Electric Proms '06 concert
James Brown's performances were famous for their intensity and
length. His own stated goal was to "give people more than what they
came for — make them tired, 'cause that's
came for.'" Brown's concert repertoire consisted mostly of his own
hits and recent songs, with a few R&B covers
mixed in. 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. In addition, his horn players
and backup singers (The Famous Flames) typically performed
choreographed dance routines, and later incarnations of the Revue
included backup dancers. Male performers in the Revue were required
to wear tuxedo
long after more casual concert wear
became the norm among the younger musical acts. Brown's own
extravagant outfits and his elaborate processed
completed the visual impression.
A James Brown concert typically included a performance by a
featured vocalist, such as Vicki Anderson or Marva Whitney
, and an instrumental
feature for the band, which
sometimes served as the opening act
the show. Although Brown released many live albums, Say It Live
& Loud: Live in Dallas 08.26.68
, released by Polydor in
1998, was one of only a few audio recordings that captured a
performance of the James Brown Revue from beginning to end.
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, prompting the
show's MC 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. As Brown was
escorted off the stage by the MC, Brown's vocal group, The Famous Flames
, continued singing the
background vocals "Please, please don't go-oh-oh". Brown then shook
off the cape and staggered back to the microphone to perform an
. This act was often repeated
several times in succession and can be seen in the closing credits
of the 1998 film, Blues Brothers
. The Alan Parker
features the would-be Dublin soul musicians watching the act on
video for inspiration.
Brown's cape routine was inspired by a similar routine used by the
As band leader
Brown demanded extreme discipline, perfection and precision from
his musicians and dancers — right down to when performers in
his Revue showed up for rehearsals all the way to whether members
wore the right "uniform" or "costume" for concert performances.
During an interview conducted by Terri
during the NPR
segment "Fresh Air
" with Maceo Parker
, a former saxophonist in Brown's
band for most of the 1960s and part of the 1970s and 1980s, Parker
offered his experience with the discipline that Brown demanded of
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.
Civil unrest and self-empowerment
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, James Brown was renowned for
his work with social activism. In 1966, he released the single
"Don't Be a Drop-Out" as a lesson to young students who had
thoughts of dropping out. He later made public speeches in front of
dozens of children and advocated the importance of education in
school. In 1967, he issued a patriotic single,
"America is My Home", which was a "rap" about how he felt people,
particularly in the African-American community, were neglecting
the country that he said "could give (them) opportunities"
explaining how at one time he was shining shoes and the next, he
was greeting the President of the United States as he did when President Lyndon B. Johnson
thanked him for donating money to
school drop-out prevention programs.
later, he performed in front of a televised audience in Boston the day
after the death of Martin Luther
Brown is often given credit for preventing
rioting with the performance. However, it was Mayor Kevin White
who strongly restrained the
Boston Police from cracking down on minor violence and protests
after the assassination, and Boston religious and community leaders
who worked to keep tempers from flaring. Also, White arranged
to have the performance broadcast multiple times on Boston's public
television station, WGBH, thus
keeping many potential rioters off the streets, watching the
concert for free.
Brown demanded $60,000 for "gate" fees
(money he thought would be lost from ticket sales on account of the
concert being broadcast for free), and then threatened to go public
about the secret arrangement when the city balked at paying up
after the concert, news of which would have been a political
death-blow to White, and possibly sparked riots on its own. White
successfully 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; The Vault contributed $100,000 to such
programs, and Brown received $15,000 from them via the city. White
persuaded management at the Boston Garden to give up their share of
receipts to make up the difference. The story is documented in the
PBS film "The Night James Brown Saved Boston".
Afterwards, President Johnson advised Brown
to visit Washington,
D.C. to greet inner-city residents there performing at a
benefit concert there and expressed the notion that violence
"wasn't the way to go".
Many in the black community felt
that Brown was speaking out to them more than some major leaders in
the country, a sentiment that was strengthened with the release of
his groundbreaking landmark single, "Say It Loud - I'm Black
and I'm Proud
Brown continued performing benefit concerts for various civil rights
organizations including Jesse Jackson
's PUSH and The Black Panther Party
program throughout the early-1970s. Brown also continued to release
socially-conscious singles such as "I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me
Nothing (Open Up the Door, I'll Get It Myself)" (1969), "Get Up,
Get Into It, Get Involved" (1971), "Talking Loud and Saying
Nothing" (1972), "King Heroin" (1974), "Funky President
and "Reality" (1975). The week before his death, Brown took time to
give Christmas presents to an orphanage in Atlanta.
Fannie Brown shared James Brown passion and concern for the
condition of today's youth and expressed these concerns by
inspiring his band to write songs like "The Godfather of Soul" and
"Pull Your Pants Up". According to Fannie Brown, "Pull Your Pants
UP!" is a song about negativity in today's music world.
end of his life, James Brown lived in a riverfront home in Beech Island, South Carolina,
directly across the Savannah River
James Brown was diagnosed with diabetes at
a very early stage of his life. Brown was once diagnosed with
, which was
successfully treated with surgery. Regardless of his health, Brown
maintained his reputation as the "hardest working man in show
business" by keeping up with his grueling performance schedule.
However, James Brown led as colorful a life on stage with his
performances, as he had off stage with his troubles with the law
and his last marriage in particular.
Marriages and children
Brown was married four times — Velma Warren (19 June
1953–1969, divorced), Deidre "Deedee" Jenkins (22 October 1970–10
January 1981, divorced), Adrienne Lois Rodriguez (born 9 March
1950) (1984–6 January 1996, wife's death) and Tomi Rae Hynie
(December 2001–2006, his
death). From these and other relationships, James Brown had five
sons — Teddy Brown (1954-1973), Terry Brown, and Larry Brown,
Daryl Brown (a member of Brown's backing band) and James Joseph
Brown III, in addition to four daughters — Lisa Brown, Dr.
Yamma Noyola Brown Lumar, Deanna Brown Thomas and Venisha Brown.
Brown also had eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Brown's eldest son, Teddy, died in a car crash on 14 June
According to a 22 August 2007 article published in the British
newspaper The Daily
, DNA tests indicate that Brown also fathered at
least three illegitimate children. The only one of them who has
been identified is LaRhonda Pettit (born 1962), a retired air
stewardess and teacher who lives in Houston.
Brown-Hynie marriage controversy
Much controversy surrounds Tomi Rae Hynie's marriage
to James Brown that occurred in December
2001, which was officiated by Rev. Larry Fryer. Brown's longtime
attorney, Albert "Buddy" Dallas, reported that the marriage between
Brown and Hynie was not valid because Hynie was married at that
time to Javed Ahmed, a Pakistani whom Hynie claimed married her for
a Green Card
in an immigration fraud. Although Hynie stated that her marriage to
Javed Ahmed was later annulled, the annulment for Hynie's 1997
marriage to Ahmed did not occur until April 2004. In an interview
, Hynie produced a 2001 marriage
as proof of her marriage to James Brown, but she
did not provide King with court records pointing to an annulment
of her marriage to him or to
According to Dallas, Brown was angry and hurt that Hynie concealed
her prior marriage from him, and that Brown moved to file for
annulment from Hynie. Dallas added that, although Hynie's marriage
to Javed Ahmed was annulled after she married James 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
Magazine featuring Hynie, James II and himself on vacation
World to announce that he and Hynie were going their
Paternity of James Brown II
In a separate CNN interview, Debra Opri
another Brown family attorney, revealed to Larry King that Brown
wanted a DNA
test performed after his death to
confirm the paternity of James Brown II — 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 wants appointed by the court to represent her son, James
Brown II, in the paternity proceedings.
Brown's personal life was marred by several brushes with the law.
At the age of 16, he was arrested for theft and served 3 years in
prison. In 1988, Brown was arrested following an
alleged high-speed car chase on Interstate
20 along the Georgia-South
He was convicted of carrying an unlicensed pistol
and assaulting a police officer, along with various drug-related
and driving offenses. Although he was sentenced to six years in
prison, he was eventually released in 1991 after serving only three
years of his sentence. Brown's FBI file, released to The
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.Stephens, J. (April 3, 2007). FBI file recounts James Brown's side Of '88 police
chase. The Washington Post
. Retrieved June 4, 2007.
Local authorities found no merit to Brown's accusations. In another
incident, the police were summoned to Brown's residence on July 3,
2000 after he was accused of charging an electric company repairman
with a steak knife when the repairman visited Brown's house to
investigate a complaint about having no lights at the
In 2003, Brown was pardoned for past crimes that he was convicted
of committing in South Carolina. In January 2005, a woman named
Jacque Hollander filed a lawsuit against James Brown, which stemmed
from an alleged 1988 forcible rape. When the case was initially
heard before a judge in 2002, Hollander's claims against Brown were
dismissed by the court as the limitations period for filing the
suit had expired. Hollander claimed that stress from the alleged
assault later caused her to contract Graves' Disease, a thyroid
condition. Hollander claimed that the incident took place in South
Carolina while she was employed by Brown as a publicist.
Hollander alleged that, during her ride in a van with Brown, Brown
pulled over to the side of the road and sexually assaulted her
while he threatened her with a shotgun. In her case against Brown,
Hollander entered as evidence a DNA sample and a polygraph result,
but the evidence was not considered due to the limitations defense.
Hollander later attempted to bring her case before the Supreme
Court but nothing became of her complaint.
During the 1990s and 2000s, Brown was repeatedly arrested for
Rodriguez, his third wife, had him arrested four times between the
mid-1980s and mid-1990s on charges of assault. In January 2004,
Brown was arrested in South Carolina on a domestic violence charge
after Tomi Rae Hynie accused him of pushing her to the floor during
an argument at their home, where she suffered scratches and bruises
to her right arm and hip. Later that year in June 2004, Brown
pleaded no contest
to the domestic
violence incident, but served no jail time. Instead, Brown was
required to forfeit a US
bond as punishment.
Death and aftermath
December 23, 2006, James Brown, in ill health, showed up at his
dentist's office in Atlanta, Georgia several hours later than his appointment for
dental implant work.
James Brown memorial in Augusta,
that visit, Brown's dentist
Brown looked "very bad ... weak and dazed." Instead of performing
the dental work, the dentist advised Brown to see a doctor right
away about his medical condition.
checked in at the Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia on December 24, 2006 for a medical evaluation of
his condition, and he was admitted to the hospital for observation
According to Charles Bobbit, Brown's longtime
personal manager and friend, Brown had been sick and suffering with
a noisy cough
since he returned from a
November trip to Europe
. Bobbit also added
that it was characteristic of Brown to never tell or complain to
anyone that he was sick, and that Brown frequently performed during
illness. Although Brown had to cancel upcoming shows
Connecticut and Englewood, New Jersey, Brown was confident that the doctor would
discharge him from the hospital in time to perform the New Year's
For the New Year's celebrations, Brown was scheduled to perform at
the Count Basie
Theatre in New Jersey
and at the B. B. King
Blues Club in
New York, in addition to performing a song live on CNN
for the Anderson
New Year's Eve special. However, Brown remained
hospitalized, and his medical condition worsened throughout that
On December 25, 2006, Brown died at approximately 1:45 AM EST
(06:45 UTC) from congestive
resulting from complications of pneumonia
, with his agent Frank Copsidas and his
friend Paul Sargent at his bedside. According to Sargent, Brown
uttered "I'm going away tonight", and then Brown took three long,
quiet breaths before passing away.
Brown's death on Christmas day, Brown's
relatives and friends, a host of celebrities and thousands of fans
attended public memorial services at the Apollo Theater in New
York on December 28, 2006 and at the James Brown
Arena on December 30, 2006 in Augusta, Georgia. A separate, private memorial service was
also held in North Augusta, South Carolina on December 29, 2006, which was attended by Brown's
family and close friends.
Public memorial for Brown at Harlem's Apollo Theater, 2006
Celebrities who attended Brown's
public and/or private memorial services included Michael Jackson
, Dick Gregory
, MC Hammer
, Bootsy Collins
, LL Cool J
, 50 Cent
, among others.
All of the public and private memorial services were officiated by
Brown's public and private memorial ceremonies were elaborate,
complete with costume changes for Brown and videos featuring him in
concert performances. Brown's body, which was placed in a gold
casket, was driven through the streets of New York to the Apollo
Theater in a white, glass-encased horse-drawn
In Augusta, Georgia, the procession for Brown's
public memorial visited Brown's statue as the procession made its
way to the James Brown Arena. During the public memorial at the James
Brown Arena, nachos and pretzels were served to mourners, as a
video showed Brown's last performance in Augusta,
Georgia and the Ray Charles
version of "Georgia On My Mind" played soulfully in
Brown's last backup band, The Soul Generals,
also played the music of Brown's hits during the memorial service
at the James Brown 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
"Walk Around Heaven All Day" at the memorial services.
Last will and testament
James Brown signed his last will and testament on August 1, 2000,
before Strom Thurmond, Jr., an attorney for Brown's estate. The
irrevocable trust, separate and apart from Brown's will, was
created on Brown's behalf in 2000 by his attorney, Albert "Buddy"
Dallas, who was named as one of three personal representatives of
Brown's estate. Brown's will covered the disposition of his
personal assets, such as clothing, cars and jewelry, while Brown's
irrevocable trust covered the disposition of music rights, business
assets of James Brown Enterprises and Brown's Beech Island estate
in South Carolina.
During the reading of Brown's 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 will. Hynie and James II were not
mentioned in the will as parties who could inherit Brown's
property. Brown's will was signed ten 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 also did not
mention Hynie and James II as recipients of Brown's property. The
irrevocable trust was established and had not been amended since
the birth of James II.
On January 24, 2007, Brown's children filed a lawsuit against the
personal representatives of Brown's estate. In their petition,
Brown's children asked the court to remove the personal
representatives of Brown's estate (including Brown's attorney and
estate's trustee, Albert "Buddy" Dallas) and appoint a special
administrator because of perceived impropriety and alleged
mismanagement of Brown's assets. To challenge the validity of the
will and irrevocable trust, Hynie also filed a lawsuit against
Brown's estate on January 31, 2007. In her lawsuit against Brown's
estate, Hynie asked the court to recognize her as Brown's widow,
and she also asked the court to appoint a special administrator for
Burial at temporary site
After the public and private memorial services in late December
2006, James Brown's body remained in his casket for a time in a
temperature-controlled room at his estate. Brown's casket was later
moved to an undisclosed location, while his children and Tomi Rae
Hynie became embroiled in disputes about Brown's final resting
place and matters related to probating his will. More than ten
weeks after Brown's death and the public and private memorial
services, Brown's children and Hynie decided on a temporary burial
site for James Brown. Brown was buried on March 10, 2007 in a crypt
at the home of Deanna Brown Thomas, one of Brown's daughters who
also held a private ceremony for the temporary burial. The private
ceremony for the temporary burial, officiated by Al Sharpton
, was attended by Brown's family and
a host of friends.
According to Brown's family, Brown's body will remain buried at the
temporary site while a public mausoleum
built for him and a decision has been made for Brown's final
resting place. To turn Brown's estate into a visitor
attraction, Brown's family plans to consult with the family of
Elvis Presley for guidance about
converting the estate into an attraction similar to Graceland.
Dallas, Brown's long time attorney and one of the trustees for
Brown's estate, did not attend the private service for the
temporary burial. He expressed his disapproval and disappointment
with the temporary burial arrangement with the comment "Mr. Brown's
not deserving of anyone's backyard." According to Dallas, the
trustees for Brown's estate "had made arrangements for Brown to be
laid to rest at no cost at a 'very prominent memorial garden in
Honors, awards and dedications
James Brown received a variety of awards and honors throughout his
lifetime and after his death. At one city, fans voted to honor
James Brown by naming a bridge after the entertainer. In 1993, the City
Council of Steamboat Springs, Colorado conducted a poll of its 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 James Brown
appeared at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the event. Although a
petition was started by a local group of ranchers to return the
name of the bridge to "Stockbridge" for historical reasons, the
ranchers 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 music festival,
performing with other bands such as the String Cheese Incident.
During his long career, James Brown received several prestigious
music industry awards and honors. In 1983, Brown was inducted into
the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. In addition, Brown was named as one of the
first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at its inaugural induction dinner in New York on
January 23, 1986.
However, the members of his original vocal
group, The Famous Flames
, Johnny Terry, Bobby Bennett, and
Lloyd Stallworth, were not. On February 25, 1992, Brown was awarded
a Lifetime Achievement
at the 34th annual Grammy
. 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 for the New York
Songwriters Hall of Fame. On November 14, 2006, Brown was inducted
into the UK Music Hall of
, and he was one of several inductees who performed at the
ceremony. In recognition of his accomplishments as an entertainer,
Brown was a recipient of Kennedy
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.
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
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 apporoval to change Augusta's
slogan to "We Feel Good". Afterwards, Official 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
On December 30, 2006 during the public memorial service at the
James Brown Arena, Dr. Shirley A.R. Lewis, president of Paine College
, a historically black college
Augusta, Georgia, bestowed posthumously upon Brown an honorary doctorate
in recognition and honor
of his many contributions to the school in times of its need. Brown
was scheduled originally to receive the honorary doctorate from
Paine College during its May 2007 commencement.
During the 49th Annual Grammy Awards
presentation held on February 11, 2007, James Brown's famous cape
was draped over a microphone at the end of a montage
by Danny Ray
(his M.C. for
over 30 years), in honor of notable persons in the music industry,
including Brown, who died during the previous year. Earlier that
evening, Christina Aguilera
delivered an impassioned performance of one of Brown's hits, "It's
a Man's Man's Man's World" followed by a stading ovation, while
dance routine in honor of James Brown.
As a tribute to James Brown, the
covered the song, "I'll
" from Brown's Live at the
album, during its 2007 European tour. On September
12, 2007, barely nine months after James Brown's death, Bobby Byrd
, the original leader and founder of
The Famous Flames vocal group along with Brown, died of cancer at
73 years old.
December 22, 2007, the first 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 appearances by
, Chuck D
, The Soul Generals, Buckethead
and many of Brown's
surviving family members. Comedian Michael Coyer was the emcee for
the event. During the show, the mayor of Cincinnati proclaimed December 22 as James Brown Day.
It has been said that a biopic is in the works about the godfather
himself Spike Lee
has signed on to direct,
has signed on to produce
with Jez and John-Henry Butterworth writing the script. Celebs like
are interested in being in the
Four of James Brown's albums appeared on the Rolling Stone Magazine's
list of the 500 greatest
albums of all time
In addition, Brown's 1970 double album
96th in a 2005 survey held by British television station Channel 4
to determine the 100 greatest albums of
all time. Other notable albums, originally released as double
, feature extensive
playing by The J.B.'s
and served as
prolific sources of samples
later musical artists, including:
The 1968 Live at the
Apollo, Vol. II
double LP album was
notably influential on musicians at the time of its release. This
classic album remains an example of Brown's energetic live
performances and audience interaction, as well as providing a means
of documenting the metamorphosis of his music from the R&B and
soul styles into hard funk.
Until the early 1970s, Brown was famous mostly for his road show
and singles, rather than his albums (with his live LPs as a major
exception). Six of his hit singles appeared on the Rolling
2004 list of the 500 greatest
songs of all time
Complete singles reissue
In 2006, Hip-O Select Records
began a multi-volume reissue
Brown's complete singles (both A-sides
) on CD
. As of April
2009, seven volumes have been released: The Federal Years:
, The Singles: 1964-1965
The Singles: 1966-1967
, The Singles: 1967-1969
The Singles: 1969-1970
, and The Singles:
- Pareles, J. (2006, December 26). James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul" dies at
73. The New York Times. Retrieved January 31,
- Chuck Brown. (2000). Washington Area Music
Association. Retrieved January 28, 2007.
- James Brown. (1998). Notable Black American Men.
Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale (Document no. K1622000047).
Retrieved January 12, 2007 from the Biography Resource Center
- Hirshey, G. Funk's founding father. (2007, January 10).
Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved January 27, 2007.
- Gourevitch, P. (2002, July 22). He met his biological father
once, who gave Brown a harmonica. His biological father worked on
the railroad in Ridgeland, Kansas. Mr. Brown: On the road with his bad self.
The New Yorker. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
- Page, C. (December 27, 2006). His adopted son, Jon White, of
Memphis, Tennessee, says his Dad has come a long way since those
dark days of his youth. "I asked my Dad how he felt after his 11th
rehab visit, and J.B. stated...."Whoa, I feel good, I knew that I
would now...I feel nice, like sugar and spice....so good, so good,
I got you!"...I suggested he make it a song". Godfather of soul, and of our goal. The
Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 28, 2007.
- Kowalski, E. (2006, December 25). "Godfather of soul, James Brown, dead at 73", Voice of
America. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
- Brown, J. & Eliot, M. (introduction). (2005). I Feel
Good: A Memoir of a Life Soul. New York: New American Library.
- Obituary: James Brown. (2006, December 25).
BBC News. Retrieved January 9, 2007.
- Wiegand, D. (December 26, 2006). James Brown: 1933-2006 - Godfather of soul changed
music at frenetic pace. The San Francisco Chronicle.
Retrieved January 10, 2007.
- Collins, W. (January 29, 2002). James Brown. St. James Encyclopedia of
Popular Culture. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
- Whitburn, J. (2000). Top Pop Singles: 1955-1999, 900.
Menonite Falls, WI: Record Research. ISBN 0-89820-140-3.
- White, Charles. (2003). The Life and Times of Little
Richard: The Authorised Biography. Omnibus Press. P. 231.
- 1986 Inductees: Little Richard, performer.
(2005). The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. Retrieved
October 28, 2006.
- 1986 Inductees: James Brown, performer. (2005).
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. Retrieved January
- Nat Kendrick & The Swans. Henry Stone
Music, Inc. Retrieved January 28, 2007.
- Guralnick, P. (1986). Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues
and the Southern Dream of Freedom, 235. New York: Back Bay
Books. ISBN 0-45226-697-1.
- James Brown. The History of Rock 'n' Roll: The
Golden Decade 1954-1963. Retrieved February 25, 2007.
- James Brown: Biography. (2006). All Media
Guide. Retrieved November 22, 2006.
- George, N. (1988). The Death of Rhythm & Blues,
101. New York: Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-394-55238-5.
- Vincent, R. & Clinton, G. (1996). Funk: The Music, The
People, and The Rhythm of The One, 123. New York: St. Martin's
Griffin. ISBN 0-31213-499-1.
- Most sampled songs and Most sampled artists.
The-Breaks.com. Retrieved December 30, 2006.
- The Whole Note: Under the Radar in '06. (2006).
All Media Guide. Retrieved January 9, 2007.
- Liner notes - Kurtis Blow presents: The History of
Rap, Vol. 1. Rhino Records. Retrieved January 9, 2007.
- In 2004 the Egyptian Singer [Hakim] released his album “El
Yomen Dol” including a duet track with Brown. James Brown profile. Celebrity Wonder. Retrieved
January 9, 2007.
- Beat the Devil. (2002). Internet Movie
Database Inc. (IMDb). Retrieved January 9, 2007.
- Full cast and crew for The Tuxedo.
(2002). Internet Movie Database Inc. (IMDb). Retrieved January 9,
- James Brown band to resume touring soon. (2006,
December 29). MSNBC. Retrieved January 13, 2007.
- White, C. & Weinger, H. Are You Ready for Star Time?
Star Time, J. Brown. (1991) Liner notes, 31. Polydor.
- George, N. (1988). The Death of Rhythm and Blues, 101.
New York: Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-45226-697-1.
- Guralnick, P. (1986). Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues
and the Southern Dream of Freedom, 240. New York: Back Bay
Books. ISBN 0-45226-697-1.
- Gross, T. (2005, February 22). James Brown (Fresh Air WHYY-FM audio
interview). National Public Radio. Retrieved January 22,
- Guralnick, 231.
- Page, C. (January 2, 2007). Godfather's soul transcended racial, musical
barriers. The Record. Retrieved June 17, 2007.
- Loverro, T. (December 28, 2006). Soul Brother had sports roots. The Washington
Times. Retrieved January 13, 2007.
- Tangari, J. (2007, January 3). James Brown, 1933-2006. Pitchforkmedia, Inc.
Retrieved January 21, 2007.
- Burnett, B. (2006, December 21). James Brown: Audience with the Godfather (interview).
The Hour. Retrieved
January 9, 2007.
- Gottschild, B.D. (2000, August). James Brown: Godfather of
dance. Dance Magazine, 74(8), p. 54 (Document no.
A63735725). Retrieved January 11, 2007 from the Biography Resource
- The Night James Brown Saved Boston. VH1
- Famous diabetes sufferers - James Brown.
(December 1, 2008). Diabetes Forum. Retrieved December 11,
- Singer James Brown prostate cancer surgery
successful. (December 16, 2004). Medical News Today.
Retrieved January 10, 2007.
- May the works I have done speak for me ... James
Brown. (December 29, 2006). Carpentersville Baptist Church,
North Augusta, SC (obituary program for the Brown family's private
memorial service). Retrieved January 10, 2007 (Adobe Acrobat Reader
required for viewing).
- A Home coming celebration for Augusta's own native
son: James Brown. (2006, December 30). The James Arena,
Augusta, Georgia (obituary program for the public memorial service
of James Brown). Retrieved January 12, 2007 (Microsoft PowerPoint
viewer/program required for viewing)
- Stritof, S. & Stritof, B. (2006). The marriages of James Brown. About.com:
Marriage. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
- Elsworth, C. (August 22, 2007) James Brown's secret children emerge. The
Daily Telegraph. Retrieved July 5, 2009.
- Martin, J. (January 4, 2007). Tomi Rae defends her relationship with James Brown.
WRDW-TV (Augusta, Georgia). Retrieved January 9, 2007.
- Gardner,L. (December 26, 2006). Tomi Rae Hynie: "It's a blatant lie". WRDW-TV
(Augusta, Georgia). Retrieved January 8, 2007.
- Anderson, V. (January 5, 2007). Probate hearing may determine whether Hynie is
James Brown's widow. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
Retrieved January 8, 2007.
- Singer James Brown files for annulment. Jet Magazine,
105(8), p. 18. Retrieved January 11, 2007 from the
Biography Resource Center database.
- Brown widow: I've been locked out. (2006). CNN
Entertainment News. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
- Public announcement of annulment in Variety
Magazine. (July 22, 2003). The Smoking Gun. Retrieved
January 8, 2007.
- Stritof, S. & Stritof, B. (2007). James Brown and Tomi Rae Hynie timeline: The puzzle
of a complicated marriage relationship. About.com: Marriage.
Retrieved January 14, 2007.
- Brown wanted paternity test. (January 8, 2007).
The Herald Sun (Australia). Retrieved January 8,
- James Brown's partner selects guardian. (April
4, 2007). The Washington Post.'.' Retrieved April 11,
- In the Matter of James Joseph Brown, File No.
SV-44B-3846. (1989). Criminal Investigative Division, Civil
Rights Unit. U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved on
June 3, 2007 (Abobe Acrobat Reader required for viewing).
- Aiken County Sheriff's Office Incident Report, Case
No. 0000030719. (July 3, 2000). The Smoking Gun. Retrieved
January 8, 2007.
- South Carolina pardons James Brown for past crimes. (June 9,
2003). Jet Magazine, 36. Retrieved January 14, 2007 from
the Lexis-Nexis Academic database.
- James Brown rape case dismissed. (April 3,
2007). BBC News. Retrieved August 20, 2009.
- James Brown pleads to domestic violence.
(2004). The Smoking Gun. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
- Smith, W. (December 26, 2006). James Brown, the undeniable Godfather of Soul"
dead at 73. The New York Beacon. Retrieved January 10,
- James Brown hospitalized with pneumonia.
(December 24, 2006). CNN Entertainment News. Retrieved January 9,
- James Brown hospitalized with pneumonia. (2006,
December 24). CNN Entertainment News. Retrieved January 9,
- Soul "godfather" James Brown dies. (December
25, 2006). CNN Entertainment News. Retrieved January 9, 2007.
- James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul," dies at
73. (2006, December 25). CNN Entertainment News. Retrieved
January 5, 2007.
- Mourners pay respects to James Brown at Apollo
Theater public viewing. (December 28, 2006). Fox News.
Retrieved March 16, 2007.
- Private ceremony held Friday for friends and family
of James Brown. (December 29, 2006). Fox News. Retrieved March
- Michael Jackson attends James Brown funeral.
(2006, December 30). Access Hollywood. Retrieved March 21,
- Anderson, V. (2006, December 30). Michael Jackson, McCartney had private viewing.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 23,
- James Brown eulogized for impact on word: Family
and friends attend a private South Carolina ceremony for the
"Godfather of Soul". (2006, December 29). CBS News: The Show
Buzz. Retrieved March 10, 2007.
- NYC & Ga. farewell for Godfather of Soul:
Funeral procession and wake in Harlem; funeral in Georgia.
(2006, December 28). CBS News: The Show Buzz. Retrieved March 10,
- Christensen, J. (2006, December 28). Picture of horse drawn carriage carrying James
Brown's body in gold casket to the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved March 21, 2007.
- Altaffer, M. (2006, December 28). Picture of pallbearers carrying James Brown's
casket to Apollo Theater memorial service. Rolling Stone
Magazine. Retrieved March 21, 2007.
- Mourners pay respects to James Brown at Apollo
Theater public viewing. (2006, December 28). Fox News.
Retrieved March 16, 2007.
- Private ceremony held Friday for friends and family
of James Brown. (2006, December 29). Fox News. Retrieved March
- Farewell tour to James Brown ends with hometown
memorial. (2006, December 30). Fox News. Retrieved March 21,
- Barnett, R. (2006, December 30). Farewell tour to James Brown ends. USA
Today. Retrieved March 16, 2007.
- Wynn, M. & Edwards, J. (December 31, 2006).  Article "Hardest Work Is Done, Publication:
Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved February 1, 2009.
- James Brown Jr. not included in will. WRDW-TV
News (Augusta, Georgia). Retrieved January 12, 2007.
- James Brown's road to wealth was rocky: Financial
turmoil part of "Godfather" legend. The Atlanta
Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 21, 2007.
- James Brown's widow "not in will". BBC News
(UK). Retrieved January 12, 2007.
- Finn, N. (2007, January 18). James Brown's estate wills more drama. E!News.
Retrieved March 21, 2007.
- James Brown's children request trustees be
removed. (2007, January 26). Star Pulse. Retrieved January 28,
- Emergency petition for termination of appointment
and removal of personal representatives and for emergency order
restraining all personal representatives. In the matter of
James Brown, a/k/a James Joseph Brown. Case/Estate No.
2007-ES02-0056 (S.C. Probate Ct., filed January 24, 2007).]
Retrieved January 28, 2007 (Adobe Acrobat Reader required for
- Emergency petition for appointment of special
administrator. In re estate of James Brown a/k/a James Joseph
Brown, deceased, Case No. 2007-CP-02-0122 (S.C. Cir. Ct., filed
January 31, 2007). FindLaw. Retrieved March 21, 2007.
- Deal reached on James Brown's burial place: Judge
appoints administrator to oversee "Godfather of Soul's" property
and trust. (2007, February 20). CBS News: The Show Buzz.
Retrieved March 10, 2007.
- Grossberg, J. (2007, March 13). Brown laid to rest (finally). E! Online.
Retrieved April 14, 2007.
- James Brown laid to rest in temporary tomb.
(2007, March 10). CNN Entertainment News. Retrieved March 10,
- Godfather of Soul's body moved from home. CBC
(iraq). Retrieved January 21, 2007.
- Goggins, K.A. (2007, March 11). James Brown placed in daughter's crypt, for
now. The Washington Post, p. D03. Retrieved March 14,
- Crowl, D. (2002, June 29). The godfather's bridge: James Brown snatched a
piece of steamboat history nine years ago. Steamboat Pilot
& Today. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
- The String Cheese Independence Incident returns to
Steamboat: Earl Scruggs and Family and Friends, Yonder Mountain
String Band, James Brown & Corey Harris round out music
acts. (2002, June 26). Steamboat Ski Two, U.S.A. Retrieved
January 29, 2007.
- UK Music Hall of Fame 2006. (2006, March 11).
Endemol UK Plc. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
- Rubin, R. (2004, April 15). The Immortals: The first fifty – 7) James
Brown. Rolling Stone Magazine (issue 946). Retrieved
January 10, 2007.
- The James Brown review. (2006, December 30).
The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
- James Brown's legal troubles delay statue unveiling. (2004, May
1). The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved January 14, 2007 from
the Lexis-Nexis Academic database.
- Remembering James Brown: Augusta memorial
memorable. WKBF-TV (Augusta, Georgia). Retrieved January 10,
- James Brown receives posthumous degree. (2007,
January 2). Diverse: Issues In Higher Education. Retrieved
March 16, 2007.
- Hasty, J. (2007, February 12). Grammy performances look forward and back.
Billboard Magazine. Retrieved February 12, 2007.
- Rolling Stones show they are still greatest rock
band. (2007, August 22). The Arizona Republic.
Retrieved August 24, 2007.
- Tunis, W. (2007, December 21). Feel good again: Show to pay tribute to the Godfather of
Soul, a year after his death. Lexington
Herald-Leader. Retrieved December 23, 2005.
- The RS 500 greatest albums of all time. (2003,
November). Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved January 27,
- The 100 greatest albums: Results. Channel 4
(UK). Retrieved January 30, 2007.
- The RS 500 greatest songs of all time. (2004,
November). Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved January 27,
- Other References