Stars come to Augusta for 'Get On Up' premiere

Stars appear for red carpet walk, screening

Thursday, July 24, 2014 11:43 PM
Last updated Wednesday, July 30, 2014 9:14 PM
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Three nights after James Brown’s biopic Get On Up premiered at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre, the bright-lights and red carpet shifted from New York to Augusta.

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Actor Chadwick Boseman, who stars as James Brown in Get On Up, pauses on the red carpet during the film's premiere at Regal Cinemas.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Actor Chadwick Boseman, who stars as James Brown in Get On Up, pauses on the red carpet during the film's premiere at Regal Cinemas.

An estimated 700 people attended Thursday’s sold-out event, including director Tate Taylor and Chadwick Boseman, who starred as the Godfather of Soul.

“The Apollo was fun because New York is home for me, but there’s nothing like the AUG,” Deanna Brown, the daughter of James Brown, said. “I’m a little tearful, but these are tears of joy. Tonight’s a great night for the City of Augusta and I know my dad’s smiling down.”

Hundreds of fans gathered outside Regal Augusta Exchange Cinemas, hoping to get a glimpse as cast members walked the Red Carpet.

Among the actors in attendance was Lakeside High graduate Keith Robinson, who plays Brown’s band member ‘Baby Roy.’

“Coming back to Augusta really brings everything full circle,” Robinson said. “I never dreamed that I’d go to Hollywood and be in a movie, but especially not one that’s screening in Augusta about such a historic subject like James Brown. It’s truly a blessing.”

Tickets quickly sold out for Thursday’s showing, as well as for the after-premiere party at Augusta Museum of History.

Proceeds from both events benefitted the James Brown Family Foundation.

“The world’s in Augusta tonight and I know for a fact James Brown is in his shoes, smiling,” said long-time friend and radio show host Minnesota Fattz. “I’ve been doing radio for almost 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like this in Augusta.”

James Brown’s family was the second-to-last group to walk the Red Carpet, followed only by Taylor and Boseman.

Boseman, best known for starring as Jackie Robinson in 42, says he was initially hesitant about taking the role.

“It’s hard to put into words how much pressure it is to live up to everyone’s expectations of James Brown,” he said. “But I do my best not to think about it. It’s like shooting free-throws at the end of a game – You just gotta block out the crowd.”

For Taylor, having a premiere in Augusta was “a no-brainer.”

“This is the perfect cherry-on-top,” the director said. “It was very fitting to return to the Apollo where Mr. Brown performed for decades, but we absolutely had to come back to Augusta, too. Chad (Boseman) and I were here a year ago meeting with the Brown family and we’re so happy to be back.”

Like nearly everyone in attendance, Thursday’s premiere marked the first time Kelly Jarrell Gordon, Brown’s back-up singer from 1993 to 2005, saw the film. Gordon, however, said Thursday was more than a showing – it was a tribute to Brown’s legacy.

“I know my last name isn’t Brown, but his band was part of his family,” the Georgia native said. “The man was a genius and truly started a movement in this country. Sure, he did a lot for African-Americans, but during my time with James Brown, there was no such thing as color – we were all one.”

Get On Up opens nationwide Aug. 1.

Are You Soulful?

Think you know all there is to know about the Godfather of Soul? Before seeing Get on Up, the James Brown biopic that opens nationwide Aug. 1, quiz yourself to see just how soulful you are.

1. How many times was Brown married?

2. True or False? Please Please Please was Brown’s first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Chart?

3. What venue did Brown rent out in 1962 to record his live album?

4. What year did he become the Godfather of Soul?

5. What year did Brown return to Augusta and plead for peace during the city’s race riots?

6. What was the name of Brown’s Augusta nightclub that was eventually destroyed by a fire?

7. What movie did Brown make a cameo appearance in? (Hint: He played a minister.)

8. Brown was one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What year was he inducted and what other major musical icon, and close friend of Brown, was also inducted on the same night?

9. True or False? Brown never received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

10. Which president did Brown say his statue on Broad Street looked like?

11. When did Brown die? How?

12. How many funeral services were held for Brown?


1. Brown was married four times – Velma Warren, 1953; Deidre “Deedee” Jenkins, 1970; Adrienne Rodriguez, 1984; Tomi Rae Hynie, 2001

2. False. Try Me, released on Oct. 1, 1958, is Brown’s first No. 1 hit. Please Please Please peaked at No. 5 on the R&B chart

3. The Apollo Theater. The resulting album, Live at the ApolloVol. 1, peaked at No. 2 on Billboard.

4. Godfather of Soul was coined in 1972.

5. 1970

6. The Third World

7. The Blues Brothers, starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd

8. 1986, Elvis Presley

9. False, he got the star on Jan. 10, 1997.

10. Thomas Jefferson

11. Dec. 25, 2006 of congestive heart failure.

12. Three

Comments (9) Add comment
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geecheeriverman 07/25/14 - 05:34 am

I have no comment.

LillyfromtheMills 07/25/14 - 08:35 am

Very nice!

hoptoad 07/25/14 - 08:56 am
James Brown's music never

James Brown's music never appealed to me, it was mostly screaming. Somewhere in the late 60's or early 70's I happened to go to one of his concerts and was not impressed. His personal habits - drug use, wreckless driving, gun waving - were not a good examples for young black children to emulate.

On the plus side, he was generous to the poor and inspired a few youngsters to pursue a career in music rather than crime.

bdouglas 07/25/14 - 09:02 am
Looks like Boseman brought

Looks like Boseman brought his own Secret Service detail with him.

jimmymac 07/25/14 - 10:06 am

I echo the sentiment about Brown's music. I like the Temptations, Impressions, Marvin Gaye and a host of other singers who I thought were better than Brown.

itsanotherday1 07/25/14 - 10:59 am
On the quiz

I'm not very "soulful". Only one answer right and it was a guess.

itsanotherday1 07/25/14 - 11:10 am
Same here hoppy

"James Brown's music never appealed to me, it was mostly screaming."

Someone once said his vocalizations sounded like someone who had an anvil dropped on their foot.

I didn't like anything about the guy except his love for Augusta and his generosity to family/friends. I believe he was a good man in his heart; too bad though he let drugs into his life.

GodisSoGood 07/25/14 - 03:58 pm
From personal experience, I

From personal experience, I believe he was a racist. he refused to give me his autograph years ago (and I didn't even want it..I was trying to get it for someone else). He turned me away saying "I ain't got time" even though I had a pen and paper in hand. Right before this, he stood patiently while a black woman fumbled through her purse for a pen. She sure got the autograph. God forbid if it had been a white man who had refused an autograph for a black woman while giving one to a white woman.

like-it-is 07/25/14 - 06:55 pm

People? Some of your comments................, but then again you are not Soulful. I too don't like some of the things he did, but God is Judge, not You.

JRC2024 07/26/14 - 10:14 am
I heard that the movie

I heard that the movie featured some black children blindfolded and one hand tied and were made to box in a ring. In the background someone said welcome to the Augusta Country Club but the picture was the club house at the Augusta National. For those that saw the movie last night. Is this a true statement that Austin Rhodes said on his radio program? The statement may be true but I doubt the incident ever happened at The Augusta Country Club or The Augusta National. It was probably put in there to excite.

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