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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Godfather of Soul

Today in Music History: October 24, 1962

Within the music arena have been various kings and queensPaul Whiteman,"The King of Jazz"; Benny Goodman, "The King of Swing"; B.B. King, "King of the Blues"; Elvis Presley, "King of Rock 'n' Roll", Aretha Franklin, "Queen of Soul"; Mary J. Blige, "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul"; Koko Taylor, "Queen of the Blues" to name a few. The Sound of Soul also reverberates with an American funk/soul band, The Commodores, who was at its peak in the 70s. Every decade offers its own chapter of soul. Sam Cooke has been honored as the 'King of Soul" but there is only one "Godfather of Soul".

James Brown, aka "The Godfather of Soul"

Georgia vocalist James Brown coined a frenzied style of choppy rhythms and jazzy horns, coupled with exaggerated dramatic behavior designed to attract attention. This along with a grotesquely choreographed performance was first documented on Live At The Apollo (1962). 

Brown's deep inward feelings came to life in exceptionally high notes, often shrieks amid guttural overt and often offensive wails of sexual desire. His was a distinctive and purely-percussive style of soul melded within a powerful and uniquely emotive voice. James Brown is unquestionably one of the most influential musical pioneers of the last half-century known from the beginning for his passionate and soulful crooning. The 'Godfather of Soul', the inventor of funk, the grandfather of hip-hop—Brown is cited as a seminal influence by artists ranging from Mick Jagger to Michael Jackson to Afrika Bambaataa to Jay-Z.

He also went by "Mr. Dynamite," "Soul Brother No. 1," "the Minister of Super Heavy Funk" and "the Godfather of Soul," and he was all of those and more. 

"Others may have followed in my wake, but I was the one who turned racist minstrelsy into black soul—and by doing so, became a cultural force." ~James Brown

1962 US Soul singer James Brown recorded his legendary 'Live At The Apollo' at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and released it in 1963. The album was was an amazingly rapid seller and listed at No.24 in Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Brown went on to record several more albums at the Apollo over the course of his career, including 1968's Live at the Apollo, Vol. II (King), 1971's Revolution of the Mind: Recorded Live at the Apollo, Vol. III (Polydor), and Live at the Apollo 1995 (Scotti Bros.).
"As I always said, if people wanted to know who James Brown is, all they have to do is listen to my music."  ~James Brown

In Augusta, GA, May 6, 2005, a statue of James Brown, "The Godfather of Soul", was unveiled. The bronze life-size statue was to commemorate Brown's musical accomplishments.

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...