James Joseph Brown: The Godfather Of Soul

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James Joseph Brown was born in Barnwell, South Carolina on May 03, 1933 into very extreme poverty. He was best known as the “Godfather of Soul”, a song writer, prolific singer, bandleader and one of the best iconic figures in funk and soul music from the time periods of 1956 to 2006. James Brown earned his fame honestly, he was nothing less than great. In the eyes of the public no other musician put on a more exciting stage show. He was one of the most influential people responsible for helping turn R&B into soul and he turned soul music into funk music. Critics have belatedly hailed his innovations as among the most important in all of rock or soul. Brown 's rags-to-riches-to-rags story has heroic and tragic dimensions. He had a conflict with…show more content…
Black audiences already knew that Brown had the most exciting live act show around the world. He truly started to become phenomenal with the release of Live at the Apollo in 1963. The album reached number two on the album charts, an unprecedented feat for a hardcore R&B LP. Ultimately, Live at the Apollo was recorded and released against the wishes of the King label. It was this kind of artistic standoff that led Brown to seek better opportunities elsewhere. In 1964, he ignored his King contract to record "Out of Sight" for Smash, creating a legal battle that prevented him from issuing vocal recordings for about a year. When he finally resumed recording for King in 1965, he had a new contract that granted him far more control over his releases. Brown 's new era had truly begun, however, with "Out of Sight," which topped the R&B charts and made the pop Top 40. For some time, Brown had been moving toward more elemental lyrics that threw in as many chants and screams as they did words, and more intricate beats and horn charts that took some of their cues from the ensemble work of jazz outfits. "Out of Sight" wasn 't called funk when it came out, but it had most of the essential…show more content…
Much of the credit for the sound he devised belonged to his top-notch supporting musicians such as saxophonists Maceo Parker, St. Clair Pinckney, and Pee Wee Ellis; guitarist Jimmy Nolen; backup singer and longtime loyal associate Bobby Byrd; and drummer Clyde Stubblefield. Amazingly, he turned the crisis to his advantage by recruiting a young Cincinnati outfit called the Pacemakers featuring guitarist Catfish Collins and bassist Bootsy Collins. Although they only stayed with him for about a year, they were crucial to Brown 's evolution into even harder funk, emphasizing the rhythm. In the early '70s, many of the most important members of Brown 's late- '60s band returned to the fold, to be billed as the J.B. 's, Brown continued to score heavily on the R&B charts throughout the first half of the '70s, the music becoming more elemental and beat-driven. At the same time, he was retreating from the white audience he had cultivated during the mid- to late '60s; records like "Make It Funky," "Hot Pants," "Get on the Good Foot," and "The Payback" were huge soul sellers. By the mid- '70s, Brown was beginning to burn out artistically. He seemed shorn of new ideas, was being out-gunned on the charts by disco, and was running into problems with the IRS and

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