Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Thursday, July 31, 2008

James Brown, the Godfatha

In anticipation of James Brown new DVD, which drops on August 5th, the daddy is
posting a good biography of the Godfatha of soul. Here it is:
"...And while his rock ’n’ roll counterparts chafed at the idea of being mere entertainers, Mr. Brown never stopped bragging about being the hardest-working man in show business...He was black and proud, he was a sex machine, but he was also a brilliant conductor, known for coaxing great performances out of the singers and musicians behind him. That, most of all, is what Mr. Brown did." --New York Times

James Brown -
American Icon (1933 - 2006)

James Brown was and will always be a true legend in every sense of the word. He will be missed by millions but his influence on music, culture and the countless number of lives he touched will carry on for decades to come.

Mr. James Brown's dynamic showmanship remains timeless. His style has been celebrated throughout generations. As one of the most sampled artists to date, he has more honors attached to his name than any other performer in music history.

Mr. Brown is a three-figure hit maker with 114 total entries on Billboard's R&B singles charts and 94 that made the Hot 100 singles chart. Seventeen of these hits reached number one, a feat topped only by Stevie Wonder and Louis Jordan. Over the years, while maintaining a grueling touring schedule, James Brown amassed 800 songs in his repertoire. With his signature one-three beat, James Brown directly influenced the evolutionary beat of soul music in the Sixties, funk music in the Seventies and rap music in the Eighties.

James Brown's life history contains many triumphs over adversity.

He was born in South Carolina during the Great Depression. As a child, he picked cotton, danced for spare change and shined shoes. At 16, he landed in reform school for three years where he met Bobby Byrd, leader of a gospel group and life-long friend. Mr. Brown tried semi-pro boxing and baseball, but a leg injury put him on the path to pursue music as a career.

James Brown joined his friend Bobby Byrd in a group that sang gospel in and around Toccoa, Georgia. After seeing Hank Ballard and Fats Domino in a blues revue, Byrd and Brown were lured into the realm of secular music. Naming their band the Flames, they formed a tightly knit ensemble of singers, dancers and multi-instrumentalists.

Mr. Brown instilled the essence of R&B with recordings under the King and Federal labels throughout the Sixties. With albums such as “Live at the Apollo”, Mr. Brown captured the energy and hysteria generated by his live performances. People who had never seen him in person could hear and feel the excitement of him screaming and hollering until his back was soaking wet. Convinced that such an album would not sell, King Records refused to produce the album.

Mr. Brown put up his own money and recorded the performance at the Apollo Theater in 1962.

Released nearly a year later, “Live At The Apollo” went to Number Two on Billboard's album chart, an unprecedented feat for a live R&B album. Radio stations played it with a frequency formerly reserved for singles, and attendance at Mr. Brown's concerts mushroomed.

To read the complete biography, see All About Jazz


rainywalker said...

James Brown gave his audience a moving experience. Many entertainers just entertain. I believe James Brown put love into his music and performances.

MacDaddy said...

rainywalker: Living in Atlanta, Georgia, not far from Augusta, where Brown lived, I saw him many times. The guy had unbelievable energy; and you could here him pushing his musicians to match his energy...Every time I saw him, he would sing "Georgia on My Mind," a more soulful interpretation than Ray Charles. One thing people don't know about him is that he was business-oriented and was able to help a lot of blacks to get loans to start businesses. Of course to accomplish this, he had to become a Republican and hobnob with the likes of Richard Nixon and his VP Spiro Agnew. But that's what he did.

Anonymous said...

you're a font of wisdom macdaddy and fun to read too

Stella said...

With all the political commentary I write, coming here is an oasis and celebration of poetry and music. Thank you macdaddy. Finding Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen here to cherish again, as well as your poetry and all the artists I never knew, leaves me speechless with joy.

James Brown (~sigh~). Another great talent: one of the wise in life and death. I wonder if he and George Carlin are up there talking about the ever increasing insanity of this crazy world.

The Wise by Countee Cullen

Dead men are wisest, for they know
How far the roots of flowers go,
How long a seed must rot to grow.

Dead men alone bear frost and rain
On throbless heart and heatless brain,
And feel no stir of joy or pain.

Dead men alone are satiate;
They sleep and dream and have no weight,
To curb their rest, of love or hate.

Strange, men should flee their company,
Or think me strange who long to be
Wrapped in their cool immunity.

You make me want to write again. Thank you.

MacDaddy said...

stella: Thanks for the kind words and Countee Cullen. Maybe you'll get back to writing and send one of your own poems. Blessings.

EveNotes said...

Hello Daddy, I knew James Brown was energetic but seeing the picture of him so far off the floor supports his being the "hardest working man in show business". He puts his heart and soul into his music and performances and as you have noted, he has influenced many other artists. Thanks for the info about his new DVD.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Of all the great memories I have of the Godfather's music growing up, my favorite is that "Living in America" was my son's first favorite song. When he was two or three he'd walk around the house singing "living in America, hideehi hodeeho" endlessly. . . with great JB inflection.
Too bad he always got such bad press.