James Brown at the Apollo



JAMES BROWN. The one and only James Brown. GET DOWN !! When God made James Brown He threw away the Mould. Born May 3.1933 in Barnwell, South Carolina during the Great Depression and raised in Poverty in Augusta, Georgia, 40 miles away. When he was a child James picked cotton, danced for pennies,and shined shoes. Ask some white folks why James swings like a bitch and chances are they'll say he's got "Natural Rhythm" -like all Afro-Americans. Well, "Natural Rhythm" he does have in plenty, but this rather insulting and dismissive term just doesn't cover it. Seriously, why were the Black People so good at Dancing and Singing ? Because there were literally no alternatives open to them when it came to earning a living. James Brown, like many thousands of others, had to take that "Natural Talent" and work on it till it was honed to perfection. Work. Rehearse, Work. Rehearse. Till your Art was sharp as a chisel and you could cut through all the bullshit of White Society. Till you were so good that even the most discriminatory in that Society said " This Guy Is Too Much, book Him, we can all make some money" And James Brown is that good. At 16 years of age James was convicted of stealing and spent three years in Reform School.


There he met Bobby Byrd who led a gospel group that performed at the Prison. After his release James tried his hand at baseball and boxing but a leg injury put paid to those ambitions and James decided to go for music full time. With Bobby Byrd He sang in a Gospel Group that worked in and around Toccoa, Georgia, but after seeing Fats Domino and Hank Ballard in a Rhythm and Blues revue James knew what he wanted to do, and Boy, did He do it. With Byrd He formed "The Flames" later to become the "Famous Flames" which showcased the band's wonderful talents as Singers,Dancers,and multi-instrumentalists. James rose to become leader of "The James Brown Revue" complete with MC, Dancers, and that fantastic band - THe J.B's. James Brown is a phenomenon. It's reported that he could lose up to seven pounds a night performing. A Metamorphosis in Rock took place when James' music hit the London scene. Most of the guys I knew who played the 2 I's in Soho,London, moved to The Flamingo Club, Wardour St. Georgie Fame, Tex Makins,  Boots Slade from the Gladiators and more. The rock roots were added to by R&B, Ska, Blue Beat, Jazz,  The Flamingo was one big Melting pot, and heavily featured was the Music of James Brown.  James was to R&B what Elvis was to R&R.  His hits number in the three figures. He has had a total of 114 entries in Billboard's R&B singles charts and 94 in the Top 100 singles charts !!  He can choose from a repertoire of 800 songs and his hits include " Get Up {Sex Machine}" "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" "I Got You" " Night Train".


If there is a remote chance that you haven't heard the incomparable James Brown - get some today. If your feeling down and tired and blue, get some Videos of James and teach your Old Ass to Boogie again. Pure Adrenalin Rush, that's James.  Mr. James Brown was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.  GET DOWN !! 



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