James Brown - Its a Man's Man's World
The originator, the one and only godfather of Soul passed away on christmas day at the age of 73. Growing up with music in my house always, James Brown made regular appearances in our house. Well his music did. I remember his soulful begging on "Please, Please, Please" and i learnt that song in a hurry.
I remember watching an episode of The Cosby Show - one of the ones with the anniversary for Cliff's parents. The whole family performs and the part that stands out for me is little Rudy going "Baby Baby Baby". My dad pointed out to me that the Huxtables were actually miming to a James Brown number.
Watching scenes from his performances, this man could dance and move. Usher, Michael Jackson, Chris Brown have all credited James Brown as their dance inspiration. Mary J Blige, LL Cool J and so many other artists have at some point in their careers sampled James Brown's music.
But the man was a class act all on his own. Tireless in his performances, he would move, and scream and dance and sweat and at the end of most performances, he would drop to his knees as if unable to go on and some guy would come from backstage with a glittery cape and throw it over his shoulders and try to lead him offstage and we would drag himself along - then suddenly he would throw the cape off and go back to give the audience one more dazzling performance. Classic.
And he was a little man - not tall but when this man walked in a room or got on stage, he seemed fierce and gigantic. A humble man that liked to be called Mr brown and remained in the south Augusta, Georgia and South Carolina most of his life.
How can i forget his style. This man started with an afro parted at the side and anded with with a jet black mane of hair impeccably done except in his mug shot. He liked shorter style jackets and nice tight pants. And the womne loved it. James Brown was married 4 times even though he lost a wife. He did drugs, led the police on a chase, landed in jail for assault then seemed to get himself in line and relax.
He was also a philantropist. He held an annual food and toy drive over christmas and he would feed hundreds of people and give out so many toys and clothes to kids and not from a distance. He would serve food and hang out with the kids and even treat them to some low key moves.
He remained in good health. He had a dentist's appointment and the dentist suggested he see a doctor since he suspected pneumonia. He checked into hospital on December 24th, at about 10pm on that day he is reported to have said "I am going away today". He died at about 1.45am on christmas day.
Rest in Peace sir and i think i speak for all true music lovers when i say that you will not be forgotten and your influence will continue to be felt for many years to come.
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