December 25, 2006


JAMES BROWN  5/31/28 – 12/25/06

James Brown was never part of a musical genre…he Was a musical genre! I remember seeing half of his incredible stage show at the Apollo theater back in the 50’s. His shows were always twice as long as anybody elses and I was too young to navigate through the streets of Harlem or travel back to the Bronx on the subways alone after dark. I had to miss half the show…but I still felt all the excitement!

Although I’m African-American, his early records were somewhat of a mystery to me. His lengthy sparse tracks, which consisted of few lyrics on a bed of complex African and Latin rhythms, punctuated by horns, yells, and grunts were embraced only by Blacks initially. Over the years, not only was his influence felt on Pop, Disco, Hip-Hop and Rap, but his “ahead of their time” tracks were sampled over and over again!

He was one of the first Black artists to have the power to release anything he wanted and was on the forefont of the civil rights movement with songs like, ” Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud! ” He was also one of the first to make us pay attention to Women’s rights with, “It’s A Man’s World.” I’m sure that everytime Christmas comes around, I’ll not only remember the Birth of a Prince, but the passing of a King!

James Brown R.I.P. Rock In Perpetuity

Respectfully, Artie Wayne

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne

See James Brown performing “Cold Sweat” on Soul Train http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2466750706053376295&q=james+brown+videos&hl=en

A short clip of James Brown being given a cape and escorted off stage http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7963982752168652171&q=james+brown+videos&hl=en

BACK TO THE R.I.P. ROCK N PERPETUITY ARCHIVES https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/rip-rock-in-perpetuity-archives/

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB https://artiewayne.wordpress.com


  1. Patti Dahlstrom Says:

    I have a great memory of James Brown. It was my first concert ever, the first big concert tour to come to Houston. I got downtown at 6 AM in the Fall of 1963 and stood in line before school for front row seats, needless to say in those days, I was first in line when you could actually buy front row seats. I went with my best friend, Robbie Leff, who co-wrote 2 songs on my first album. In the entire coliseum we were the only White people there. The crowd all stared at us and probably wondered what we were doing there and how we got those seats.

    It was amazing. Throwing off the cape, the screaming “Please, please, please, please” the sweat dripping off him. A night I’ll never forget as long as I live.

    Thank you, Mr. Brown.

  2. Country Paul Says:

    RIP James Brown. He certainly was an innovator. It’s sad when anyone dies, but especially someone whose name defines a sound just by its mention. There aren’t a lot of those…and there aren’t a lot of them left.

    It seems appropriate, too, that he died on Christmas – leave it to Soul Brother #1 to make a grand exit on a date we’ll always remember. And, by the way, his passing made the front page of today’s New York Times above the fold!

  3. Alan O'Day Says:

    (Artie, thank you for inviting me to share this with your readers.)

    Well, death doesn’t stop for Christmas. One of my early idols passed yesterday morning, and has joined the band up in Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven.

    In my youth, the rhythm & soul of James Brown affected me deeply. Those wonderful banshee screams on “Please Please Please”… The “James Brown Live at the Apollo” album (I still have the vinyl)… Such exciting visceral stuff. I guess you kinda had to be there to understand. And some of you were!

    Later, performing live with groups, I would sometimes sing “Please…”, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of complete vocal inadequacy. So I eventually morphed my interpretation into kind of a comedy/tribute, becoming “James White” from (conservative) Orange County who was subbing for the real James at the last minute. It also gave me an excuse to include some frenzied footwork, which only worked as a joke, but felt great to do!

    So, even in the middle of Christmas hope & joy, I needed to pause & share this brief tribute to the Godfather. An American dream of poverty to fame, a turbulet whirlwind of God’s energy & creativity, a musical influence that will last a long, long time.

    Thank you, James Brown.


  4. Eddie Hodges Says:

    I posted this on Spectropop, but it bears repeating. Thanks for this great piece on a great man, Artissimo.

    The news of James Brown’s passing was a shock. I remember meeting
    him in the mid 1960s. He was a kind, gracious, down-to-earth &
    happy man, and spoke to me as a fellow professional, though I was
    just a nerdy kid overwhelmed with joy to meet one of my heroes. He
    was a softspoken gentleman, but driven with a passion for
    excellence in his work.

    I was introduced to James Brown’s music by Danny Whitten, Billy
    Talbot & Ralph Molina (later, Crazy Horse) & became immediately
    inspired by his incredible energy. Danny taught me some of his
    “moves” & I began using them on stage when I performed, as so many
    others did. When we met, I showed him the steps I was learning,
    poorly done, of course. Nevertheless, he laughed and said, “Pretty
    good, little man. Keep practicing – you’re getting there.” I was
    thrilled. He encouraged me more with those few words than he ever

    I will forever be a James Brown fan. And, now, a new light will
    perpetually shine upon him.

    Eddie Hodges

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: