Grave is likely to attract tourists

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A music icon's final resting place draws pilgrims.

A burial place for James Brown has not been chosen, attorney Buddy Dallas says.  File/Staff
File/Staff
A burial place for James Brown has not been chosen, attorney Buddy Dallas says.

Think of Jim Morrison's grave at Pre Lachaise cemetery - one of the most popular tourist sites in Paris. Or Elvis Presley's grave at Graceland, a major attraction in Memphis, Tenn.

Judging by the outpouring by fans in New York and Augusta last week, James Brown's tomb could bring a stream of visitors to the Augusta area.

According to Charlie Reid, of C.A. Reid Sr. Memorial Funeral Home, the coffin will not be buried, but rather put in a mausoleum that the public can view because Mr. Brown "would want to do that for Augusta," he said.

What's uncertain is on which side of the state line that place will be.

Augusta was the Godfather of Soul's declared hometown, but he was born in Barnwell, S.C., and lived in Beech Island.

There has been talk of putting a grave at the South Carolina property and converting the home into a museum. Other speculation involves Walker Memorial Park in the Laney-Walker neighborhood where Mr. Brown's third wife, Adrienne, is buried.

Both Buddy Dallas, Mr. Brown's attorney since 1981, and Mr. Reid say the family hasn't settled on a location.

"We simply have not had the time," Mr. Dallas said. "I've almost been zombie-fied for the last 36 hours."

After Saturday's "homegoing" celebration, attended by more than 8,000 fans and a handful of celebrities at the James Brown Arena, the solid gold coffin was driven to Mr. Brown's home in Beech Island, where it remains, Mr. Reid said.

At least one Augusta official has said he would like to see Mr. Brown stay on the Georgia side of the Savannah River.

Richard Isdell, a member of the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority, said the authority would support placing the body at the arena that bears his name, perhaps seeking to move the bronze statue on Broad Street there, too.

Even before he died, Mr. Brown's statue was a draw.

"If we put him in Beech Island, I think we lose him," Mr. Isdell said. "We can do a lot for him, and he can do a lot for us."

Mr. Isdell, one of two authority members who voted against naming the civic center for Mr. Brown, said it's easier now to appreciate the impact Mr. Brown had on music and culture. At the very least, he said he would like to see a bronze plaque honoring the Godfather placed at the arena.

Mr. Dallas said he's not aware of any Augusta officials courting the family to bring Mr. Brown back to the city.

Mayor Deke Copenhaver said he talked to family members Saturday, but not about where the body will go.

"I would defer to the family on any decisions like this," he said. "It's completely up to the family and their friends. I will respect whatever they decide, and if they do decide to do it here in Augusta, I will do whatever I can to help them."

Contacted Monday, Mr. Brown's widow, Tomi Rae Hynie Brown, said she believed her husband was buried at his Beech Island estate in an evening service after Saturday's celebration, which Mr. Reid, the funeral home manager, said is not the case.

"That's what I read in the newspaper," Mrs. Brown said. "(The Rev. Al) Sharpton was supposed to call me when he was getting buried, but no one ever did."

The intent, she thinks, is to build a mausoleum for Mr. Brown on the 60-acre property. She is unaware of any discussions to bury Mr. Brown in Augusta.

"I can't be sure, because everyone is keeping me out of the loop," she said.

Mrs. Brown was not with the funeral procession that brought Mr. Brown's body back to his home after his memorial service. She said she has not been allowed onto the property since Mr. Dallas and accountant David Cannon barred her entrance on the day of Mr. Brown's death.

Mr. Dallas said he did what he had to do to protect the estate.

Attempts to reach Mr. Brown's daughter, Deanna Brown, were unsuccessful.

If the tomb does end up at the Beech Island property, it would be 10 miles from the downtown statue. Graceland is eight miles from Memphis' Beale Street, but in a far more developed area.

Mr. Dallas said having the site in Beech Island wouldn't necessarily cut out the Garden City.

"Augusta doesn't end at the river," he said.

Mr. Dallas said interest in Mr. Brown's legacy is bound to grow. According to Mr. Dallas, there are unreleased albums. Director Spike Lee is working on a biographical movie.

"Augusta's going to be pleased," Mr. Dallas said.

Staff Writer Donnie Fetter contributed to this article.

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com.

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WhiskyDick
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WhiskyDick 01/02/07 - 05:21 am
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Marion Williams and his

Marion Williams and his family has some land available...and they could open their "Soul Snacks" convenience store.

kudzo-n-roses
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kudzo-n-roses 01/02/07 - 06:22 am
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Oh my God! Now it is time for

Oh my God! Now it is time for the greedy and corrupt to come out of the woodwork.Comments like "keeping the body on this side of the river" "and if he goes to Beech Island we lose him" are with out a doubt the most barbaric things yet being said about this dead man....ya'll are just gonna keep him working arent you? Come on Dallas let the man be buried wher he wanted and quit trying to still make a buck off of him...and you too Augusta.

ImThatGuy
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ImThatGuy 01/02/07 - 07:50 am
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My thoughts exactly Mary...

My thoughts exactly Mary... Now here come the wolves, ready to get their hands on anything to satisfy themselves all for the mighty dollar!!!

bbs
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bbs 01/02/07 - 08:20 am
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n/a

neva mind who i am
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neva mind who i am 01/02/07 - 08:43 am
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I agree with bbs. If Brown

I agree with bbs. If Brown recognized her as his wife whats wrong witht the rest of you. It is absolutely hidious the way this lady is being treated. She has a son by this man and is being treated as if she is some hooked or some groupie that is just now coming out to say this was her husband. Where was Al Sharpton, this Mr. Dallas and all the rest of you that are trying to run this thing when she was being beaten by him or delivering his baby. Were any of you there then??? She deserves to be treated better than this and you all know it.

dickthefatman
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dickthefatman 01/02/07 - 09:05 am
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Very few are called

Very few are called "legendary" before thier time is up; James Brown was. Now he is a true Legend and his memory should be treated as such. Bury this man with the dignity he deserves.

Be about it
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Be about it 01/02/07 - 09:29 am
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On the entire subject. The

On the entire subject. The Lord will judge all accordingly and we should stop throwing bricks at each other. No one knows anyone unless they live with them. White/Black/Yellow/Red, whatever.

womanofthelasthour
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womanofthelasthour 01/02/07 - 09:44 am
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Mr. Brown has gone on know to

Mr. Brown has gone on know to be with the Lord, we should let him rest in peace. My prayers go out to Ms. Tomi Rae, and to her child. This woman was totally disrespected. The Lord above sees all and knows all. None of us knows what went on behind closed doors. There is always two sides to every story. Fair is fair, Ms. Tomi Rae will get what she is entitled to in the long run.

charles yonce
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charles yonce 01/02/07 - 09:48 am
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i agree with bbs in south

i agree with bbs in south carolina you still have common law marriage why has it not been mentioned in this case? this is not how you treat someone who was the last person to live with this guy.by the way, i was at the ceremony sat morning,it was very nice,until the old racist dick gregory got up and started spewing his hate.i think even rev's al and jesse were appalled at this.way to go dick you bitter old fool! yes i'm caucasian if you're wondering

ANGEL
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ANGEL 01/02/07 - 09:52 am
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You all need to let the man

You all need to let the man REST IN PEACE. I am sure he had a will and it takes time to probate it and I am sure it will be done as he had it written. You all need to lay off the people that are trying to do what needs to be done, because I am sure he wanted it this way. Speaking of Tomi, I do not feel sorry for her for putting up with what she did. There are all kinds of people that are being and have been abused and it was her own decision to stay in the relationship in the first place not anyone else. She, herself decided to takes drugs and be abused like she said she did and I am sure she abuse him too, may not just be physically but mentally or emotionally. Why was she able to keep her child when just about any other mother that does drugs she loses her child or children. I guess she was just the lucky one. Mr. Brown was a very quiet person and he would never say what she or others have done to him and I am sure he has been thru alot more than you will ever know. So, there is a reason for everything that has happened since his passing. So, Please let Mr. Brown Rest in Peace now.

cricketflea
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cricketflea 01/02/07 - 10:30 am
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Personally, I think since

Personally, I think since they are planning to make a museum of Mr. Brown's estate, they should bury him there. Then he would be with his "Graceland" forever. Isn't that what he wanted?

sweetpeapenny
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sweetpeapenny 01/02/07 - 10:47 am
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To bbs, were you there when

To bbs, were you there when the alleged beatings took place? In my opinion no one should past judgement. Are you holier than thou? We can't move on as a people because there are people like you still referring to African Americans as THE BLACKS! Get a clue!

babydoll1
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babydoll1 01/02/07 - 11:11 am
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First of all Tomi Rae does

First of all Tomi Rae does not deserve anything. Yes they may have been together but she was not legally married to him. This should be a lesson for all of the people in the world "IF YOU SHACK WITH A PERSON WHEN THEY DIE YOU GET NOTHING) people need to understand no matter how long they have been with a person if they are not married to them then they are not owed nothing. If you are good enough to live with a person then why not be good enough to marry them. It has happened time and time again a person has lived together for 30 years but when the mate dies the family takes over and leave the out of everything but if they were married the family would not have any say so. Ok they might have say so but the husband or wife has the final say so. As far as Tomi Rae goes that is her fault for putting up with what ever she put up with. She first of all should not have married Mr. Brown knowing that she was still married to someone else. Then after this came out she divorced the man but Mr. Brown never re-married her. IAM almost sure that with Mr. Al and Mr. Brown being as close as they were he knew what was wanted by Mr. Brown and he respected his wishes. Now she needs to sit down.

tasha1
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tasha1 01/02/07 - 12:04 pm
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i think that the way mrs

i think that the way mrs brown is being treated is totally uncalled for. if any of you paid attention to some of the interviews on tv yall would have heard dr brown acknowledge mrs tomi brown as HIS WIFE!!!!!!!!!!! like one of the others readers said she was with him for years and she put up with alot. theres alot of u in abusive relationships but you havent gone anywhere. mrs brown loved br brown and he loved her too. yall need to go get a life and deal with the things that are more important. yes james brown was a good man and there will never be another like him but there are far more things to be discussed other than who gone get his money. we all know that nobody ever acknowledged any of his children except for deanna!!!! hell they didnt even mention one time james jr. we are talking about james brown the god father of soul, im sure deanna wasnt his "only child". its like they praising her more than him for god sake. as for where he should be buried... you named something after him so let him lay where his name lay. dammit just let the man rest in peace. and before i finish let me do say that the way yall are treating tomi rae you will pay for it later. go get right with GOD!

freedom
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freedom 01/02/07 - 12:04 pm
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To bbs: would you be such a

To bbs: would you be such a Tomi-
Rae advocate if she were an African-American?

devaughny
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devaughny 01/02/07 - 12:54 pm
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Regardless to the fact how

Regardless to the fact how people behaved, which was like "A bunch of fools". All the way from the so called Rev's to Deanne, lets think about it, news flash !!!! (its a little boy and his father passed). Its a damn shame how this little 5 year old little boy was traeted, not having the honor to be the baby son of a great man. Jr is not able to support his self like the other money hungry adults can. besides the fact that james jr was so disrepected by Al, Jessie, Family and So-Called family friends, the little boy well being should be consided when it come to cutting the pie. If u ask me, I think Daddy's monies should be held in a interests bearing account until JB jr will be able to make decisions..

FortheloveofAugusta
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FortheloveofAugusta 01/02/07 - 01:13 pm
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I believe Mrs Brown will have

I believe Mrs Brown will have the last laugh, as I recall when my brother died my sister in law had all legal rights to the decisions on my brothers funeral and burial. The family did not, Mrs Brown get a lawyer and make your decisions!!!!!!!

marien
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marien 01/02/07 - 01:50 pm
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To the bbs and all the others

To the bbs and all the others no one knows what when on but, 3 people God, James Brown, and Tomi Rae. As far as this thing about white meat bb people are not meat I don't care who they are I would like to see your reaction if you are called white meat. A person chooses who they want to be with. If he did not want her by his side when he died that is his business. And who ever said she is going to get whats coming to her I'm sure, we all will when our time comes. So bb get over it and sit down some where.

rvfmcalw08
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rvfmcalw08 01/02/07 - 01:51 pm
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Was he or wasn't he

Was he or wasn't he married??? From what I know of the law if a man calls a woman his wife in public they are considered married (common law or not). As for the SOB'S pushing Tomi Rae and James Brown JR out should be ashamed of themselves. The Godfather is watching you and I hope he strikes you down for treating her and his son this way. Tomi Rae god bless you for taking care of our Godfather. My prayers are with you and your son.

Augusta Mom
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Augusta Mom 01/02/07 - 02:11 pm
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I believe that South Carolina

I believe that South Carolina has not recognized "common-law marriage" for several years. And, yes, it's a shame that she was treated this way. Let's face it, they both had drug habits..........

imjustsaying
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imjustsaying 01/02/07 - 02:54 pm
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well first of all for readers

well first of all for readers like BABYDOLL1 they have made a decision that Tami Rae was brown's legal wife because of the fact that her 1st husband was already married to 3-4 other women making her 1st marriage null and void and making her marriage to James legal so for all of yall who are screaming she wasnt his wife NEWS FLASH yes she was. I think since the family can accept her who are we not to. second of all the funeral was not at all solemn and quiet as we all know it was a celebration of life. tami was mentioned a lot in the ceremony and her performance was a touching tribute to him and she had every right to "COZY UP TO THE COFFIN" RAYMOND she was saying her last goodbyes to her husband since she would not be at the burial. I guess you figure his daughter shouldnt have danced the James Brown or his Son shouldnt have sung sex machine either huh? well wake up that was his family doing what they wanted to honor their love one simple as that.

bbs
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bbs 01/02/07 - 03:02 pm
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To address "Raymond" first-

To address "Raymond" first- Not only was Tomi Rae "hammering" it up on stage. So was the rest of the idiots that took the stage. All the way from his own daughter bouncing around like Tiger on crack. So dont point the finger at the white girl. Regardless of what the media has said, there have been lawyers that have said Tomi Rae was and is married to the man and in just a month im sure a judge will put the final say on that issue as well. For the idiot who mentioned her shacking up, she did actually have a ceremony and did actually try to marry him. As far as her being an idiot and trying to marry him knowing she was already married is a different topic in it self. I have never seen anything as tacky as that and defintely nothing more tacky than giving a man with a third grade education a Dr. degree.... THAT IS THE BIGGEST JOKE OF ALL. I liked James Brown, I have much respect for the man but just because you throw a couple of Turkeys around the ghetto and give away a couple of gifts to needy children does not make you a doctor- it simply makes you what God intended us to be. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto u"

good grief
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good grief 01/02/07 - 03:02 pm
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Actually, there is a marriage

Actually, there is a marriage cerificate. Check the court records.

bbs
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bbs 01/02/07 - 03:10 pm
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As far as being a Tomi Rae

As far as being a Tomi Rae advocate if she were African American--the answer to that is absolutely. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity. This woman was NOT. She was not even allowed to ride in the family car. Whether the fact of the matter is if she was or was not married to Brown- she was a special part of his life, they shared a child, he had no other "significant other" (or maybe he did amongst the drug abuse/ spotlights/ etc.)--- To: SWEET PEA No I was not there when the alledged beatings took place- Were you? I do know he was found guily in the court of law and charged. That stands for something in this great free world we live in. Its called justice. So in your own opinion "no one should past judgement" As far as me being holier than thou... nope, im not did not know I claimed to be. and as far as your statement goes "We can't move on as a people because there are people like you still referring to African Americans as THE BLACKS" YOU Get a damn clue! In case you forgot you are not from Africa- I have never understood that. Who cares- black/ white-- african american/caucasian-- potatoe/ pa tot o- Who would get offended by that only someone who has little self esteem and nothing better to do but [filtered word] about the petty...

freedom
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freedom 01/02/07 - 03:15 pm
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bbs must stand for Billy Bull

bbs must stand for Billy Bull S***

babydoll1
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babydoll1 01/02/07 - 03:23 pm
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Especially to bbs and

Especially to bbs and injustsaying: Just because you call a person your wife or your husband does not make them such. When was the last time Geogia or south Carolina recognized common law marriage? Ok not only that but if you want the title and the respect that a wife or husband gets do it the right and legal way. Damn the "I love you, oh this my wife, or this my husband" and there is nothing on paper that say the same thing. To become husband or wife you do not have to spend a whole lot of money or have a great big ceremony, hell go to the court house at least it will be legal then. I do not give a damn what you say if she is not legally married to the man she is not owed anything and that goes for black white, Mexicans, Chinese and who ever else that choose to live with a man or woman and be called wife or husband and is not. Your heart might tell you one thing but the legal system says something else. If she is the legally wife then why in the obituary is she noted as being a trusted companion and not the wife. why wasn't she able to make decision about his funeral and why did she drive her own car and hell why wasn't she able to attend the burial at the funeral? WIFE

bbs
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bbs 01/02/07 - 03:39 pm
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n/a

babydoll1
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babydoll1 01/02/07 - 03:59 pm
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Was it legal ????????? Now TA

Was it legal ????????? Now TA TA to you too. You know you sound like a person who has gone through this yourself or maybe someone close to you. Is this the reason for you being so defensive? Well answer my questions 1. Why does the obituary have companion? 2. Why wasn't she acknowledge as wife" 3. Why wasn't she able to attend the burial or what ever it is they had at the home after the service on Sat? 4. Why did she drive her own car why wasn't she able to ride with the family? 5. Why is it the family is keeping her out of everything? 6. Why is the Rev. Al was supposed to inform her about the burial? If she was the wife all of this she would have had part in, not only that but she would not be denied access to anything she would be in charge and over everything as the wife. Now if there is some papers that states she is the legally wife I will be the first to apologize but what I say about people living all of their lives with a person and then when the past they do not get anything still stand. Because I feel that is no body's fault but their own. If a person wants all of the rights and privileges do it the right way then there can be no argument or discussion about who gets what.

My 2 Cents
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My 2 Cents 01/02/07 - 04:50 pm
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I think Tomie Raye has no

I think Tomie Raye has no class at all. If you really are who you say you are then one should have a stronger sense of dignity and act like a class act. I pray that end the end she ends up having to do what most of us regular folks do..and that is called work for a living. The Godfather is resting in peace. Now all those who rode on his coattail most of all people like her will have to get a job. I pray Mr. Brown handle his financial affairs and his estate is left to those who really deserve it. It is always ashame to work hard in life and see people such as this woman grabbing for stuff even before the ink is dry on the obituary program. At least Mr. Brown made better choices in terms of women in his youth. His older children carried themselves with such dignity during this whole ordeal.

bbs
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bbs 01/02/07 - 05:14 pm
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bounce tiger bounce......

bounce tiger bounce......

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