Today, May 3 1933 James Joseph Brown was born. Little to be known this child would grow up to be the “Godfather of Soul”. James Brown would become one of the most influential, singer, dancer, bandleader and song writer for generations to come. He has touched and influenced numerous lives including my own with his music and performances. Today we are celebrating his birthday. “Soul Brother Number One, Sex Machine, Mr. Please Please Please, and The Hardest Working Man in Show Business” crossed the boundaries of race and music. He could lay down the funkiest rift and come back with a pop hit. Rap musicians have sampled his work extensively. When you listen to his music, a feeling will take over your body. You will jump up and get down with the "Good Foot".
I did not really start listening to James Brown till the late seventies. I was hooked and saw him over a dozen times throughout the years. His performances stirred a passion in your soul. You could not help but want to dance and groove with the beat of his band. James Brown did it all. He danced and sang all the while keeping his big band tight. He was not the perfect role model. He had his personnel demons and occasional trouble with the law. This just added to the legend. In the 60’s he tried to help the inner city population with his James Brown ‘Black & Brown” trading stamps. In Oakland California certain corner groceries would give these stamps the same as ‘blue chip stamps’. You could trade them in for merchandise.
Today let’s celebrate James Brown's birthday. Play some JB and get your funk on. ‘KPFA 94.1’, Berkeley Ca. (8-10 pm Pacific Coast Time) will be playing a two hour tribute to James Brown. You can listen to it by streaming (Right Here!).