Augusta's We Feel Good committee has announced that the James Brown Soul of America music festival is coming.
The committee took time out Monday from Mr. Brown's annual turkey giveaway to officially launch the festival. The event, which was originally scheduled for March 30-April 2, is being rescheduled, probably in May. At a news conference, Charles "Champ" Walker Jr., speaking for the committee, announced that Mr. Brown would perform and that celebrities including Justin Timberlake, Usher, Black Eyed Peas, Bruce Willis and P. Diddy would perform. He later acknowledged that none of those appearances has been confirmed.
"We cannot guarantee that any entertainers will be here," he said. "What we can say is that they have shown a great deal of interest and committed to come."
Mr. Walker said the committee also hopes to have firm dates for the festival set in the next week or so.
So far, both Clear Channel Communications and the city of Augusta have committed to support the event. Interim Mayor Willie Mays said it's past time to honor Mr. Brown.
"We're doing it right now, while he's here and with us," he said. "That's the most important thing we can do for this city's greatest ambassador, not just in America, but around the world. The city of Augusta is going to be an active participant in this event and the event that will continue to grow throughout history and throughout time."
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Andrew Davis Tucker/StaffJames Brown sings as he arrives at his annual turkey giveaway at Dyess Park. With him are his wife, Tomi Rae, and son, James Jr.[CAPTION]
At left, Mr. Brown gives a turkey to Billy Jackson, of Augusta. Above, The line stretches outside the Dyess Park community center. Besides entertainment from Mr. Brown, the annual event featured the Swanee Quintet and an update on the Soul of America tribute, which is being rescheduled, probably for May.