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BLACK MUSIC MONTH: Under the Influence...

James Brown

Posted June 3, 2003-- Some call him "The Hardest Working Man In Show Business," others call him "The Godfather Of Soul" but his mama called him James Brown. There probably isn't another Soul music artist that has influenced popular music as much as James Brown has. His dancing and vocal style, stage antics, beats and even work ethic have all been incorporated in some way into the present day world of music entertainment.

Soul Brother Number One

BLACK MUSIC MONTH: Under the Influence...
James Joe Brown was born in Barnwell, South Carolina -- the only child of a poor couple -- on May 3rd, 1928 (although he apparently claims, like all real superstars, that he was born later, in 1933). When Brown was four, his parents separated and he moved into his aunt's brothel in Augusta, Georgia where he spent his childhood. Brown then left school in the seventh grade and picked cotton, was a shoe-shine boy and washed cars until he was 16 when he took part in an armed robbery and was sentenced to eight to sixteen years' hard labor. He served a short period in the county jail before being transferred to juvenile work farms where he first met Bobby Byrd (of the Famous Flames). After cutting a demo with The Famous Flames, James became known on the performance circuit and would soon first hit it big with the song "Please, Please, Please" in 1956 on King Records.

From there it was a wrap and the world was hit with a musical revolution that would go on for decades. In addition to his own contributions to music, James Brown paved the way for artists like Lyn "The Female Preacher" Collins whose song "Think (About It)" remains a classic to this day. James also put on Vicki Anderson's whose "Message From the Soul Sisters" later became the backdrop to Lil' Kim's "No Time." Funk legend and bassist Bootsy Collins got his start with Brown's "Jungle Brothers." Additionally, James Brown lent a big hand in developing the Funk genre. It was Brown's bandmates, Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley that left James to join in on George Clinton's motherships called Parliament/Funkadelic. Clinton ironically credits James Brown as being the inspiration for Parliament. 70s blaxploitation films Black Ceasar and Slaughter's Big Rip Off were both scored by Brown -- taking his career into a different dimension. Not only did James Brown stretch the envelope of his genre, he also created a movement with his talents.

At this year's [BET]URL:,,p377gb6461-7236,00.html Awards, James Brown will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in celebration of his contributions to music. will also honor Soul Brother Number One with this special Black Music Month tribute full of audio clips and video footage of James Brown doing his thing, today's celebs commenting on his influence and perspectives on how and in which ways James has influenced popular music. Check it out right here and take your shot at our James Brown quiz and vote for your favorite JB songs on our superpoll. Join us as we turn up the volume on the career of James Brown and see why he is indeed the one and only Godfather of Soul music.

By The Blackspot, Staff Writer
Rédigé le Mardi 10 Juin 2003 à 00:00 | Lu 1239 fois | 0 commentaire(s)

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