Originally created 12/30/06

The James Brown Review



May 3, 1933: James Brown is born in Barnwell, S.C., to Susie and Joseph Brown. James' mother leaves the family when he is 4.

1938: James Brown moves to the Twiggs Street home of his aunt in Augusta. He attends Silas X. Floyd School until age 10.

1949: James is convicted of petty theft and sentenced to eight years to 16 years at Alto Reform School in Toccoa, Ga.

JUNE 14, 1952: James, 19, is released from reform school.

1953: Mr. Brown joins the Gospel Starlighters. The group eventually shifted its focus from gospel to secular music and changed its name to the Famous Flames, with Mr. Brown as the featured performer.

JUNE 19, 1953: Mr. Brown marries Velma Warren in Toccoa. They have three sons: Teddy, Terry and Larry.

NOV. 1, 1955: The Famous Flames record Please, Please, Please at radio station WIBB in Macon, Ga.

JAN. 23, 1956: Mr. Brown and the Famous Flames sign to the King/Federal record label.

FEB. 4, 1956: Mr. Brown and the Famous Flames re-cut Please, Please, Please at the King/Federal studios in Cincinnati. The record reaches No. 5 on the R&B chart.

OCT. 1, 1958: Mr. Brown's first No. 1 hit, Try Me, is released. The song became the best-selling R&B single of 1958.

OCTOBER 1961: Mr. Brown makes his television debut, appearing on Dick Clark's American Bandstand.

OCT. 24, 1962: Mr. Brown records his performance at New York's Apollo Theater. The resulting live album, Live at the Apollo, Vol. 1, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard album chart in 1962.

FEB. 1, 1965: Mr. Brown records Papa's Got a Brand New Bag. The classic single topped the R&B charts in the summer of 1965 and cracked the Top 10 on the pop singles chart, an almost unheard of feat for an R&B single at that time.

1965: Mr. Brown makes his first movie appearance, performing I Got You (I Feel Good) in Frankie Avalon's Ski Party. The song becomes the No. 3 single of the year. Mr. Brown appears on The Ed Sullivan Show.

JUNE 4, 1966: Mr. Brown reaches No. 8 on the pop chart with It's A Man's Man's Man's World.

1968: Mr. Brown releases Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud). The single, which peaked at No. 10, is considered revolutionary for its overt political message and its unique sound, which would come to be referred to as funk.

APRIL 1968: Mr. Brown helps quell race riots in Boston and Washington, D.C., that followed the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

MAY 1968: Mr. Brown attends a state dinner at the White House with President Lyndon Johnson.

JUNE 1968: Mr. Brown performs for U.S. troops in Saigon, Vietnam.

1970: Mr. Brown records Get Up (Sex Machine).

MAY 12, 1970: Mr. Brown returns to Augusta to plead for peace during the city's race riots, which left six people dead.

1969: Mr. Brown and Velma, separated since 1964, are divorced. Mr. Brown later marries Deidre Jenkins, a Baltimore native he met on tour in 1966. They have two daughters - Yamma and Deanna. They later divorce.

JULY 1, 1971: Mr. Brown signs with Polydor Records.

SEPTEMBER 1972: Get on the Good Foot sits at No. 1 on the R&B chart for a month and peaks at No. 18 in the pop Top 40. The single's success cements Mr. Brown's place in music history, and he gains the moniker The Godfather of Soul.

JUNE 14,1973: Mr. Brown's 19-year-old son Teddy is killed in a car accident in New York.

OCT. 17, 1973: Mr. Brown's Augusta nightclub, The Third World, is destroyed by fire.

JAN. 5, 1974: Mr. Brown releases The Payback. The album will eventually be certified gold, with more than 500,000 copies sold.

SEPT. 1, 1974: Mr. Brown, on a bill with B.B. King, Etta James, Bill Withers and the Spinners, performs for more than 120,000 people at a music festival in Zaire, which preceded the legendary "Rumble in the Jungle" boxing match between George Foreman and Muhammed Ali.

1980: Mr. Brown makes a cameo appearance in the John Belushi/Dan Aykroyd comedy The Blues Brothers, playing a minister.

1983: Mr. Brown is inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. In March, three of his vehicles are auctioned by IRS officials to help pay $2.82 million in back taxes.

1984: Mr. Brown marries Adrienne Rodriguez.

MAY 30, 1985: Mr. Brown's Beech Island home is sold at public auction. The 3,500-square-foot house on 39.96 acres is purchased by his attorney Albert "Buddy" Dallas for $9,500.

JAN. 11, 1986: Living in America, from the Rocky IV soundtrack, reaches No. 4 on the Hot 100 chart.

1986: Mr. Brown is named as one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

APRIL 5, 1988: Mr. Brown turns himself in to Aiken County authorities and is charged with assault and battery with intent to kill and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. The charges stemmed from an alleged attack on his wife, Adrienne. The charges were later dropped when Mrs. Brown refused to testify.

DEC. 15, 1988: Mr. Brown is sentenced to a six-year prison term on various assault, drug possession and vehicular charges. He serves more than two years and is paroled Feb. 27, 1991.

JULY 1989: The IRS seizes $48,000 in cashier's checks which had been found in Mr. Brown's possession while he was incarcerated in Columbia. The IRS reported liens of $11 million against Mr. Brown.

FEB. 25, 1992: Mr. Brown accepts a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 34th annual Grammy Awards.

FEB. 25, 1993: Mr. Brown accepts a Lifetime Achievement Award at the fourth annual Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Awards.

JULY 10, 1993: Joseph Brown, Mr. Brown's father, dies at 81.

NOV. 20, 1993: The city of Augusta renames the section of Ninth Street between Broad and Twiggs streets James Brown Boulevard.

JAN. 6, 1996: Adrienne Brown, 45, dies after cosmetic surgery in California.

JAN. 10, 1997: Mr. Brown gets a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

JUNE 15, 2000: Mr. Brown is inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame, to be built on the campus of New York University.

JUNE 11, 2001: Mr. Brown and backup singer Tomi Rae Hynie have a son, James.

DEC. 14, 2001: Mr. Brown marries Ms. Hynie at his Beech Island home.

DEC. 7, 2003: Mr. Brown gets a Kennedy Center Honors award in Washington, D.C., recognizing lifetime creative achievement and outstanding contribution to American culture.

FEB. 26, 2004: Mr. Brown's mother, Susie, dies in Augusta at 87.

DEC. 15, 2004: Mr. Brown undergoes surgery for prostate cancer in Atlanta.

MAY 6, 2005: A statue of Mr. Brown is dedicated and placed on Broad Street.

AUG. 22, 2006: Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center is renamed James Brown Arena. Mr. Brown attends a sign unveiling ceremony Oct. 15.

DEC. 22, 2006: Mr. Brown makes his last public appearance at his annual Christmas toy giveaway at the Imperial Theatre in Augusta.

DEC. 25, 2006: Mr. Brown dies of congestive heart failure brought on by pneumonia at Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta.

DEC. 29, 2006: Thousands of fans attend a memorial service and public viewing of Mr. Brown's body at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, N.Y.

Sources: The Augusta Chronicle, staff research, James Brown's autobiography I Feel Good: A Memoir of Life and Soul; A&E Biography's James Brown, The Biography of Soul