MACON, Ga -- Tascha Houston wants Macon residents to remember James Brown’s connections to the city.
Macon isn’t the soul singer’s hometown -- Augusta is. Brown arrived in Macon in 1955, virtually unknown, and by the time he left in 1963, he was the biggest name in soul music -- the “Godfather of Soul.”
Houston, one of the original dancers in Brown’s shows, is planning to lay a wreath at the James Brown Bridge on Walnut Street at 1 p.m. Monday, and she’d like others to attend to share their stories and memories of Brown. He died on Christmas Day in 2006 after a battle with pneumonia and congestive heart failure.
“I started doing this because Mr. Brown had such a great impact on Macon,” Houston tells the Macon Telegraph newspaper. “He’s a part of Macon.”
In late 1955, Brown’s group, the Famous Flames, went to the studio of Macon radio station WIBB and made a demo tape of “Please, Please, Please.” DJ Hamp Swain started playing the song on the air, and he was soon flooded with requests for it.