Remembering James Brown

On Monday, Augusta and the world lost a legend. James Brown died Christmas morning in Atlanta at the age of 73. Mr. Brown's personal and legal issues were well known but he also leaves behind a legacy of charity work and good will.

James Brown
James Brown
1933-2006

For years Mr. Brown has given out toys and turkeys to needy families in Augusta. In 1968, he played a role in cooling down riots that broke out in several U.S. cities after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. While Mr. Brown never served in the military, he traveled to Vietnam to visit and entertain troops.

It is reported that Mr. Brown gave a new Lincoln to a woman in Kansas who couldn't get to church on time because her car broke down.

Professionally, his list of awards and honors are matched by few. Mr. Brown also had over 98 entries on Billboard's top 40 R&B singles chart, a record unsurpassed by any other artist.

In 1962, his "Live at the Apollo" sold a million copies, the largest number ever for a black music album at the time. In 1997, the House of Representatives authored a resolution commending Mr. Brown as a "musical genius." He was one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received the lifetime achievement award at the 34th Grammy Awards.

Much has been said about Mr. Brown's legacy. Now we want to know what you think. Share you memories and thoughts of James Brown here.

Related link: Complete James Brown coverage
Photos: Early Years | Final Augusta Show

    • Syndicate content

Comments (128)

Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
twilahzone
0
Points
twilahzone 12/25/06 - 04:16 pm
0
0

I remember as a child

I remember as a child watching Mr. Brown on the black-and- white TV at home. Watching him dance was a sight to see! He used to own a couple of radio stations and a nightclub here in Augusta. I had just turned legal age in order to get into the nightclub. I used to be amazed at seeing the aquarium when you first walked in the door--this was the mid-late 1970's. I remember when my ex used to play as one of the house band members at Leon's Desoto on 9th Street (now James Brown Blvd). Leon Austin (who was one of Mr. Brown's close friends) owned the club. On occasion, Mr. Brown would stop by and sit in with the house band. I would have a front row seat. He was always gracious and kind to me--to me, he never acted like the **star** when meeting his fans. Now if you were a musician (like my ex)--he gave you hell--because he was a perfectionist in his craft. You had to PLAY--and be on time--or your behind would be docked pay --MAJOR pay--. That is why he is a legend.

Without Mr. Brown--Prince, Michael Jackson, Terrence Trent D' Arby, even current singers like Justin Timberlake--would not have a career today.

He not only gave prominence to what black performers were doing in the 50's and 60's--he gave to ALL races a bare-bones understanding of what music does to the soul. And for that, I will miss him.

RIP, Mr. Dynamite.

-Deborah (Deb) Hemingway, M.S.
Augusta, GA

kentuckymack1
0
Points
kentuckymack1 12/25/06 - 02:12 pm
0
0

Mr. James Brown is my

Mr. James Brown is my favorite male vocalist, his music and beats are a heavy influence of my life. I have nothing but love and kindness for him. Artist like him were also key to my political stand. No other entertainer said it best about my onyx heritage.

AugustaYouth
0
Points
AugustaYouth 12/25/06 - 03:04 pm
0
0

THIS WAS SOME WAY FOR ME TO

THIS WAS SOME WAY FOR ME TO WAKE UP. I LOVED ME SOME JAMES BROWN! IM 19 YEARS OLD AND WORKING ON BECMING A GOSPEL SINGER. BELEIVE IT OR NOT, BUT I TAKE ALOT FROM MR. BROWN! HE'S JUST SO TALENTED. BEING THAT I WAS BORN IN 1987, I CAN TRULY SAY HE'S BEEN A FAVORITE "ALL" MY LIFE! IM CERTAIN THAT GOD JUST NEEDED ONE MORE ENTRY FOR THE BOOK OF LIFE AND MR. BROWN GAVE THAT TO HIM WHEN HE GAVE AWAY THOSE TURKEYS BACK IN NOVEMBER. THAT WASNT ENOUGH THOUGH. JUST LIKE A GOOD GODFATHER, HE KNOEW THAT LITTLE KIDS WOULD NEED TOYS TO PLAY WITH ALONG WITH THOSE TURKEYS HE FED THEM WITH. WHAT DID HE SO? GIVE OUT MANY, MANY TOYS TO THEM! THIS MAN CAN BE JUDGED BY HIS POLICE RECORD, BUT LETS JUST LOOK AT ALL THE GOOD THINGS HE'S DONE, RIGHT UP TO FOUR (4) DAYS AGO! REST IN PEACE!

nuggie2006
0
Points
nuggie2006 12/25/06 - 03:29 pm
0
0

I was shock to hear that

I was shock to hear that James Brown pass away.
I remember back in the 60's and 70's when i was a little girl i live on Broad Street. Mr. Brown Mother live down the street it was about 1/2 mile down the road from my parents house. We would seat on the front pouch to see him pass by. Mr. Brown mother live beside Drew Funeral Home on the left up on the hill in Toccoa, GA. Everytime he came in i would go to the front yard with my brothers with mom and dad on the pouch he would see us he would have is driver blow the horn and he would roll down his window and wave at us. I love is music. I love the song he sing "I Feel Good" was my favor. I love that song. Now he is up in heaven making them all feel good. Mr. Brown thank you for make a little girl dream come true to see you when you come by and wave at me and my brothers. Thanks for the memorys i have now in my heart. God be with you Mr. Brown and your family. Mr. Brown you do not know how much you make a little girl and her family feel with you came by and wave. I love you James Brown and your music will live on.

Go Rest in Peace Mr. Brown we all will see you again in heaven .

Janice {Carter} Kelly
Clarkesville, Georgia

twilahzone
0
Points
twilahzone 12/25/06 - 03:45 pm
0
0

Tyrus, it's human nature for

Tyrus, it's human nature for others to judge people--especially if you have even a slight level of commercial success. Unfortunately, the judging of Mr. Brown (or anyone else, for that matter) will not go away anytime soon.

I don't know for sure (I am making a personal guess here), but I imagine if one is in a position of any kind of power--music, busness, or other--think about it--all the people around you saying "yes, yes, yes". . . all of the time. . . will YOU stay on the straight and narrow? This statement is a difficult one to address when examining the individual within. Some folks simply CAN'T do it. Does it make them weak? No, just human.

BlackJack7
15
Points
BlackJack7 12/25/06 - 03:53 pm
0
0

James Brown was such an icon

James Brown was such an icon that it would hardly ever cross ones mind that he would ever die!
I first met Mr. Brown in 1992 as a fresh-out-of-college freelance journalist for an entertainment tabloid at the now defunct "Jack The Rapper Family Affair" music industry convention in Atlanta. Talking to him wasnt like your typical two-way interview (and he preferred it that way), it was like a conversation between a father and son - about God, the music business, life, etc..
My prayers go out to my former radio colleague Deanna Brown and family, the Augusta radio community who were touched by Mr. Brown in one way or another, all of his fans such as I, etc...
Although we've been snapped into reality that Mr. Brown's physically mortal, but no doubt he's musically and historically IMMORTAL!

lnoble
0
Points
lnoble 12/25/06 - 04:38 pm
0
0

My memory of Mr. James Brown

My memory of Mr. James Brown goes back to when I was a student at Silas X. Floyd. I was a 7th grade student of the late Ms. Laura Garvin. Each year Mr. Brown would come to visit her because of the impact she made on his life. Mr. Brown never forgot where he came from. It was a pleasure to wait with anticipation for him to visit our school because he would always stress that we as students needed to strive to get the best education possible. Augusta, Ga. has lost a true pioneer and icon. I ask that God comfort and give his family strength during this most difficult time. As we mourn the loss of Mr. Brown let us as citizens of Augusta, Ga. strive to follow his example in that we must love one another and come together for the common good of this community. Remember his words: It is not about race but about doing what is right and good so that everyone can benefit by allowing love to be your guiding principle. Rest in peace Godfather because you have gone on to be with the Lord.
L. Noble
Augusta,Ga.

goodgod
5
Points
goodgod 12/25/06 - 04:42 pm
0
0

I'm in shock, my hero is

I'm in shock, my hero is gone. Mr Brown is loved the world over, I've been reading tributes from England, France, South Africa, Isreal, Thialand, Austrailia, and everywhere.

We truely "Lost Someone" this morning. "A million to one/Someone that's brighter than a star."

The President of the United States offered his condolences to The Godfather of Soul.

Mr. Brown was an original musical force that will never ever be duplicated again.

A fan forever,
Goodgod
aka Aldean Riley, Louisville, KY

Jake
30346
Points
Jake 12/25/06 - 06:31 pm
0
0

I first saw JB back in 1965

I first saw JB back in 1965 after he did the TAMI Show on film. If anyone of you out there have never seen this video then you must because it shows what the essence of James Brown was all about. Mr Dynamite was what cool was all about. I saw him later at the Bell Auditorium in 1968 and he showed up at the side door of the Bell dressed in tight orange pants and an orange sweater with no shirt on. To say he looked baaaadddd! was an understatement. I am keenly aware of all the problems he has had over the years but his music to me has overcome these things. Augusta is lucky to have had many great R&B acts over the years including Leroy Lloyd and the Swinging Dukes, Little Genie Brooks, Leon Austin, Mickey Murray, The Zippers with Cadillac on drums. I still wish these folks were with us playing at the AMVETS and even though I am a white guy and might have some problem getting in it would still be worth it.

Zorab
0
Points
Zorab 12/25/06 - 07:07 pm
0
0

May your spirit find perfect

May your spirit find perfect peace. Your presence has been an honor to us all, and I thank you for being such a good and kind hearted person who never forgot the importance of passing blessings on to others.......You are and will always be truly loved.

Lori666
0
Points
Lori666 12/25/06 - 07:31 pm
0
0

The Godfather of Soul, the

The Godfather of Soul, the Legendary James Brown is Dead! When I received a call at 4:45 a.m. this morning I could not believe what my Godmother was telling me. I am so sorry to hear of Mr. Brown's passing.... Easter egg hunts at WRDW radio station, Christmas time at the house on Walton Way, Pop, Danny, Deanna and Yama, The Original James Brown Fan Club, the bus rides to Atlanta to tape Future Shock, the opportunity to meet Ted Turner, the trips to Atlanta to visit Martin Luther King Burial site and other historic landmarks (and let's not forget the lunch at Burger King) stopping by the house - just to visit, His smile, His moves, His voice, His hair, presenting Him an appreciation award on behalf of the James Brown Fan Club - Augusta at Butler Stadium; Mr.Brown did so many things for his hometown - Augusta, GA., and provided many opportunities for the youth of this area to be exposed to different things such as going out of town to Atlanta to tape Future Shock or visit the MLK Burial Site. These are just a few of the memories I have of Mr. Brown, someone I have known since I was a little girl. He was truly the hardest working man in show business and had a very strong work ethic...but he also had a heart of gold, a giving heart, and I am one of many that he has personally blessed. Rest in Peace GFOS!!! Lori Young

twilahzone
0
Points
twilahzone 12/25/06 - 07:34 pm
0
0

Jake, I remember my mom

Jake,
I remember my mom going to the AMVETS nightclub years ago. . . I think she mentioned it was on the corner of 9th and Walton Way. I envy her, for she saw the musicians you mentioned performing in their rawest form. Those performances have not been duplicated since in Augusta--IMO. I have seen the T.A.M.I. show with Mr. Dynamite and other performers. Needless to say, Bro. James blew EVERYONE out of the water! His performance was something that an audience had never seen before.

gapeach31
0
Points
gapeach31 12/25/06 - 07:41 pm
0
0

I remember when I was a

I remember when I was a little girl and my mom and I walked into Williams Fish market and there he was sitting down eating a plate of fish. It was the first time I saw him in person and he was so friendly and down to earth. We lost another icon. Mr. Brown did a lot for the city of Augusta and he never forgot where he came from. He will live on forever through his music and the great things he did for the communtiy.

jboat
0
Points
jboat 12/25/06 - 08:35 pm
0
0

There are absolutely no

There are absolutely no words to express the sadness I felt in my heart to hear of this tragic news. I first met Mr. Brown during my time as an entertainment talk show host out of Savannah, GA. As a matter of fact, Mr. Brown was my first celebrity interview. This was my mother's favorite show which she still views from time to time on VHS to this day. Mr. Brown would later sign me to his management company. I had the pleasure of meeting and befriending his two daughters, Deanna and Yama,he often referred to me as a daughter. He was always the perfect gentleman. When ever we had the opportunity to dine, he always opened the car door and pulled my chair out for me to sit. Augusta and America has lost a great individual who inspite of his human flaws was a man who had a heart of gold, always wore a smile and lived life to the fullest. I will cherish the video footage from that show for the rest of my life for it will always depict him as being alive and happy. May God bless his family and his legacy.

Jacqueline Boatwright

tamark3
0
Points
tamark3 12/25/06 - 09:19 pm
0
0

at the age of 6or7 i can

at the age of 6or7 i can remeber james brown having a black santa clause on his house at christmas time'i'm now 44 my father told many stories about him when he worked for my dad in his teen years. what a man he was he never forgot where he came from and the people he met along the way. GOD BLESS james tell my dad hello up there.

augustadog
76
Points
augustadog 12/25/06 - 09:34 pm
0
0

Jake, I saw the Godfather in

Jake, I saw the Godfather in 67 arrive at Bell Audtorium in a lime green mustang, wearing a lime green suit, with his wife in a lime green dress and a poodle that was..... lime green.
Good God, he was a bad mama jama!
His performances were like no other in the sixties, with the Flames, and a horn section that was "Out of Sight."
Augusta's most famous son will be remembered as "The Godfather of Soul."
He was also a big Georgia Bulldog fan and his "Dooley's Junkyard Dogs." was great in the late 60's.
Your pal,
"Cold Sweat"

jonniesgurl77777
0
Points
jonniesgurl77777 12/25/06 - 10:08 pm
0
0

Hello from Rochester, New

Hello from Rochester, New York!
So sad to hear about James Brown. I know about him from my daddy. He use to see James Brown a lot when he was growing up in Augusta. My daddy would talk to James about becomming a Christian and repenting. James listened to the word of God comming to him through my daddy. James came to be a wonderful man, full of love and sharing it all over the world just like God wants all of us to do. I see James had his picture done up with Tom Jones on his website, only James would know how much my momma loved Tom Jones. James Brown was such a nice man. When he found out I was on my own he blessed my path with love as well. James Brown is a fine and perfect example of how magnificantly God can shine. God bless James Brown and all his family. Amen.
From BillieLynn Holt.......

groovy
0
Points
groovy 12/25/06 - 10:23 pm
0
0

May be there will be some

May be there will be some mistakes in those few lines, I am french. I do feel so depressed today because I love James Brown and his music for I was 14 y.o.! I met him several times : I was working for the french copyrights when he went to Lyon in 1973, I got pictured with him, we were in the regional newspapers ! (I still have this photo framed !) ; we talked together and I got very much impressed by this Huge Artist ! This was one of the greatest moments in my past life I must say. After this, I moved to Nice, and I met him again after a concert, some of his musicians came to my place in the old Nice, I cooked some chicken and I did several washing machines for them. I remember a certain Joseph Brown living on Brown Boulevard (???). After this, I went to a concert in Marseille (Carrière Notre-Dame),then in Cannes (Palais des Festivals) and last time was in Nice Jazz Festival. The morning when James died this is incredible I awoke exactly at the hour he is gone forever and I wasn't supposed to because I went to sleep very late. I hope he is now at the right of God may be having fun playing music with Ray Charles, Otis Redding... I am devastated but I do think his music will live for ever, James Brown was the father of soul, and plenty other styles of music. Thank you very much Mr James for the happiness and the energy you gave out to me ! Tonight I decided not to sleep, I lighted a candle, and I'll put all your CD's on, kind of an irish wake in your honour !

groovy
0
Points
groovy 12/25/06 - 10:30 pm
0
0

I am in schock too, I try to

I am in schock too, I try to believe my hero is gone too. I live far away, I won't even be able to say "au revoir" to him !

V Kelley
0
Points
V Kelley 12/25/06 - 11:40 pm
0
0

When I was in my early 20's

When I was in my early 20's I went into the Krystal on Walton Way about 4:00 in the morning. Right after I got in line, in came the Godfather and all his entourage. I could do nothing but smile, and he smiled right back at me. I did not get an autograph. Rest in peace Godfather.

shamorris
0
Points
shamorris 12/26/06 - 12:13 am
0
0

I grew up on Florence Street

I grew up on Florence Street and attended Silas X. Floyd School. I will never forget the first time I met Mr. Brown he was so full of life and enjoyment. Mr Brown came to Floyd School one day to visit Ms. Garvin a former teacher of his as well as mind she took pride in knowing him and being able to say that she once taught him.In thinking about all of his performances and shows the one that sticks out most to me was the summer neighborhood block parties during that time "SAY IT LOUD I'M Black AND A PROUD" was a major hit. Over the years we had several block parties from 9th Street to 11th Street that was his way of giving back to the community for those that couldnot attend his concerts.I have enjoyed his music and of course those smooth dance steps over the years. JB as I referred to him will be missed but I will never forget the enjoyment of watching him perform and having a heart full of love for everyone. Mr. Brown may you rest in peace.

suprinadod
0
Points
suprinadod 12/26/06 - 03:15 am
0
0

I met James Brown in the

I met James Brown in the '70's when I was about 5 years old. He came to visit a childhood friend that just so happened to be the son of my babysitter.

I was a little dancing machine back in those days and my babysitter wasted no time showing me off to Mr. Brown. Though I didn't know this charismatic ebony man with the permed hair from Adam at the time, I danced my little heart out for him.

At the end of my routine, Mr. Brown rewarded my efforts with a crisp dollar bill. Back then a dollar was a lot of money for a kid, especially a poor kid like me, and having one of my own was enough to make me remember Mr. Brown with fondness for years to come.

The other reasons I hold a certain fondness for Mr. Brown is because he:
1. Was still humble enough to visit a childhood friend in a housing project. How many big stars do stuff like that?
2. Was a generous man. In fact, the Friday before his death Mr. Brown spent time in the community giving to others.

To the 'Hardest Working Man in Show Business', I say Rest in Peace.

southiegal
26
Points
southiegal 12/26/06 - 05:36 am
0
0

Back around 1982 or so, my

Back around 1982 or so, my sister and I had taken our Mother to the ER. She was in a bad state of confusion. When she told us that she had seen James Brown in the hallway and was thrilled, we thought she was just rambling so to speak. But to our surprise it was James Brown. We were so excited for her that we approached him and explained about our Mother. He took the time to go in and spend time with her. To see our Mother so happy was priceless. Mr. Brown you were a Godsend to us that night. We know that our Mother, Myrtis Riley, was one of the Angels to greet and hug you when you arrived at the Pearly Gates.
She spoke of meeting James Brown often, even when she was confused about other things. She was never confused about that.
She was diagnosed with a brain tumor and passed away in 1985.
Mr. Brown thank you for the memories.

chanceboo
0
Points
chanceboo 12/26/06 - 07:59 am
0
0

I remember stories my

I remember stories my brother, a local Augusta attorney, told me about James showing up at University Hospital in Augusta and paying the hospital bills for friends or sometimes just acquaintances - black or white - who were broke. He was a very generous man and will be long remembered.

realtwinsouls
0
Points
realtwinsouls 12/26/06 - 08:55 am
0
0

mr. brown has always been a

mr. brown has always been a big part in my life.
bought my first j.b. record when i was 12 (there it is), this changed my life forever. started to collect all of his records and in the 80's started collecting videomaterial got some 650 hours at this moment. every tour in europe we tried to be there, at one point we became special guests of the j.b. organization and were blessed to get backstage access at allmost every j.b. gig. shook the hand of the legend a few times. because he was always in our daily life one starts to think that this will last forever.... so we were hoping to see him again in june 2007 in europe. the 2006 was very strong mr. brown gave his best and we had magical moments, maybe he knew it was going to be the last time around. he lived his life to the max and for us he was a way of life.
i am very very proud that i was able to talk with this man who is and always will be a legend and a rolemodel for generations. he had his ups and down ofcourse because he was human but if he has learned me one thing then it is "turn bad into something positive" and "never give up" !!!

he once said "i live as long as i can and die when i can't help it" and he surely did in fact he reached the age of 146.

now the final cape has come thank you mr. brown the godfather of soul for being you ! we will never forgot you.

ron and yvonne roelofsen wassenaar the netherlands

The A Train
0
Points
The A Train 12/26/06 - 09:35 am
0
0

I tell everyone that growing

I tell everyone that growing up in NYC that all I knew about Augusta, GA. was that James Brown was from here, and lives here, and wrestling at the Bell Auditorium. There is no doubt that part of my decision to move here was due to him. I was rewarded by meeting him time after time, being at concerts, even funerals and other things around Augusta where he was right there. When I got to take a picture with him in 1997, I made copies and sent to my family in NY and everybody went crazy that I was that close to him. I feel like I have lost part of my own family. I am tore up.

ALC
0
Points
ALC 12/26/06 - 10:07 am
0
0

Mr.Brown would show up to

Mr.Brown would show up to our church from time to time when I was a child. Macedonia Baptist at that time was on Laney-Walker back in those days it was Gwinnette St. and after one service He signed an autograph on a church program for me and I was a fan ever since. Where ever my life has taken me anytime anyone would ask me where I'm from I would always say Augusta, GA home of the Godfather of Soul. His music has always been a source of pride for me and he will be sorely, sorely missed. God bless you Godfather.

mgroothand
5
Points
mgroothand 12/26/06 - 10:12 am
0
0

"Brown was een van de

"Brown was een van de invloedrijkste figuren uit de geschiedenis van de soulmuziek. Daarmee drukte hij ook zijn stempel op andere muziekgenres als reggae, jazz en hiphop."

This was a headline in my hometown newspaper in The Netherlands. It was followed by a lengthy story of his life and music. A reminder that he was a worldwide entertainer!

Miss Soul
0
Points
Miss Soul 12/26/06 - 10:36 am
0
0

This is indeed a hard time

This is indeed a hard time for all who knew and loved Mr.Brown,
I had the pleasure, no the honor of knowing Mr.Brown for many
years, in a way I can honestly say he saved my life, by making me understand that no matter what your life was like growing up that it shouldn't be a excuse for self destruction it should only make you stronger.
I met Mr. Brown back in the 60's and eventually worked at James Brown Productions in Cincinnati, Ohio under Bud Hobgood, and that was the greatest experience of my life, Mr. Brown was truly one of the strongest people I have ever met, he loved everyone he met and everyone loved him I remember when the neighborhood children would flock to King Records when he was recording he always took the time to talk with them telling them to stay in school and stay out of trouble.
I just want to say thank you James for all you did for me I will carry praise and love for you until we meet again.
I ask for prayers for his family, and his extended family especially my godbrother Bobby Byrd, Charles Bobbitt, who was always there to the end, Danny Raye and all the other true people in his life.
Goodnight James and thank you for all you did and all you mean to me I will never forget you, God called a special angel home
Christmas Day, tell Pink and Dix Ms.Soul said hello, and I know I will see you again someday.
With Much Love and Respect
Charlotte Lee
( Miss Soul ) a name given to me by Mr.Brown

disgustedwithaugusta
0
Points
disgustedwithaugusta 12/26/06 - 10:43 am
0
0

For all of you that say that

For all of you that say that he was your hero --- it is scary that in todays world you turn to an ex-con for a hero. He was nothing more than an ex-con that knew how to pray on people. He made people think he was a good person giving out food and toys when he was just trying to cover up his bad reputation of wife beatings and drugs. Its sad to know that people can be swayed this easily and the future of this country is going to be in the hands of you people. This man is still torturing women even after his death by having his wife and child locked out of their home and she has no money to live on!! What wife do you know that doesnt have her own account or money??? WAKE UP people. if you really want to honor this ex-con then vote to have the county jail renamed after him --- he probably spent more time in there than he did at shelters giving out food and toys...which by the way lets not forget those give aways gave him a good tax write off for the new year!!!!!

Back to Top

Top headlines

New chair gets vet off-road to fish

Army veteran Henry Kent's new Action Trackchair has attachments for fishing, with a holder for his fishing pole and a built-in tackle box, but others can be outfitted with gunracks for hunting.
Loading...