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[MUSIC] James Brown - Pioneering, Volatile, Iconic and Legendary

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  • madchinaman
    Pioneering and volatile -- the stage was his world By Geoff Boucher, Times Staff Writer http://www.latimes.com/news/la-me-brown26dec26,1,1300323,full.story -
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 26, 2006
      Pioneering and volatile -- the stage was his world
      By Geoff Boucher, Times Staff Writer
      http://www.latimes.com/news/la-me-brown26dec26,1,1300323,full.story


      -

      James Brown had dozens of hits over his decades-long career. Here is
      a smattering of his seminal, career-defining songs. Click on a title
      for a description of the song, or click the speaker icon on selected
      songs to hear an audio clip.
      » 1956: "Please, Please, Please"
      This begging ballad about a man trying to keep his woman took on a
      raw, sensual tone as Brown growled and yelped through the burning
      track.
      » 1961: "Bewildered"
      Brown's she-done-me-wrong classic. He shrieks and shouts
      passionately, "bewildered" by the actions of his now-former woman.
      » 1962: "Night Train"
      One of the first songs to feature the tight, jumping horn section
      that would become a cornerstone of most of his major hits. Brown's
      rough-edged voice shouts out cities nationwide on the "Night Train"
      route.
      » 1965: "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag (Part I)"
      Another classic dance track about — what else — dancing.
      » 1965: "I Got You (I Feel Good)"
      Perhaps Brown's most famous tune, and one of the all-time greatest
      songs in rock's canon. A buoyant, joyful jam that is an instant party
      starter. If you've never heard this, you've never heard music.
      » 1966: "It's a Man's Man's Man's World"
      Though the title may suggest a chauvinistic ode, this passionate,
      downbeat track really pays homage to a man's eternal need for a woman
      by his side.
      » 1967: "Cold Sweat (Part I)"
      A smoking, sultry mid-tempo jam that features Brown singing about a
      woman who makes him weak-kneed. It was sampled by dozens, perhaps
      hundreds of '80s rap songs.
      » 1968: "Say it Loud — I'm Black and I'm Proud (Part 1)"
      Released at the height of the civil rights movement, this anthem
      boldly asserted pride in being black at a time when African Americans
      were still fighting for basic rights.
      » 1970: "Get Up (I Feel Like Being) Sex Machine (Part 1)"
      Despite its somewhat risque title, this frenetic groove is more of a
      call to move your feet. Perhaps Brown's second most-famous song, its
      signature is its slamming rhythm section.
      » 1971: "Make It Funky (Part 1)"
      This could be the theme song of Brown's entire career. It begins with
      Brown saying what would become his motto: "[Whatever] I play, it's
      got to be funky!"
      » 1974: "Papa Don't Take No Mess (Part I)"
      Brown's amazing, funky tribute to a hard-nosed, stern dad.
      » 1974: "The Payback (Part I)"
      The ultimate revenge song, this song sounded as if it would fit right
      in with many of the blaxploitation soundtracks of the day with its
      blaring horns and rumbling bass lines.
      » 1976: "Get Up Offa That Thing"
      A killer bass instead of horns are the real glue of this James Brown
      classic dance groove.
      » 1985: "Living in America"
      This rousing, patriotic song from the fourth installment of
      the "Rocky" movie franchise re-established Brown as a hit maker in
      his fifth decade.
      » 1988: "Static, Pts. 1 & 2" (with Full Force)
      As Brown's music was being sampled right and left by rappers, Brown
      showed hip-hop heads how it should be done with this sizzling
      collaboration.
      Source: Associated Press

      -


      LAST month, on a frosty night in Zagreb, Croatia, they draped the
      shimmering cape on the shoulders of James Brown for the last time. As
      the crowd cheered, the "Hardest Working Man in Show Business," whose
      career had begun six decades and a world away as a child dancing for
      coins along the Savannah River, walked away from the microphone.

      "They loved it, they came out for the show; it didn't matter how cold
      it was, the crowds always came out for Mr. Brown," said Danny Ray,
      the emcee who had introduced Brown at performances since the early
      1960s. "It was a good night. If you never saw Mr. Brown, well,
      there's no way to tell you about it. Not really. He was one of a
      kind."

      The singular life of James Brown ended on Christmas Day at Emory
      Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta. The 73-year-old singer left his
      home in his native South Carolina for dental work in Georgia but then
      fell ill and was admitted to the hospital over the weekend. His
      agent, Frank Copsidas, said the early indications are that Brown died
      of congestive heart failure.

      Anyone who watched Brown — on stage or off — had to marvel that his
      heart had endured as long as it did.

      A whirling, feverish performer, Brown was a melodramatic showman,
      with his scissor-splits and ritual of feigning fatigue, being led off
      stage in a cape and then charging back with evangelical zeal. More
      than that, he created a staccato vocabulary of dance that echoes in
      the steps of Michael Jackson, Prince, Usher and new performers today
      such as Chris Brown.

      His music, meanwhile, was a unique bridge between soul and funk, and
      its audacious experiments with beat and structure made it a vital
      template for the hip-hop revolution.

      Brown's life was as jolting as his art; there was his firebrand role
      in the black pride movement and his outspoken boldness on issues of
      race inequality — but there also were his bizarre drug and crime
      exploits and mercurial personality, which could be as coiled and
      unpredictable as his music. All of it combined to make him a volatile
      figure of fascination, a Miles Davis with dance moves.

      The hits began in 1956 with "Please Please Please," a straightforward
      R&B hit of its time, but by 1961, with the memorable and unexpected
      sound of "Night Train," the singer was moving toward a sound that was
      melodically minimal and rhythm-heavy, laced with brass and punctuated
      by the ad-lib vocals that would become his signature. True national
      stardom arrived with the 1963 landmark release, "Live at the Apollo,
      Vol. I," hailed by many critics as one of the essential concert
      albums in modern music.



      Electrifying performer



      Brown's live prowess and his incandescent hits — among them "Papa's
      Got a Brand New Bag," "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and "Get Up (I Feel
      Like Being A) Sex Machine (Part 1)" — earned him the moniker the
      Godfather of Soul. But, like Elvis Presley, he cut across musical
      boundaries and then made new ones. As Rick Rubin, the producer, once
      wrote: "James Brown is his own genre."

      Debra Lee, the chief executive officer of Black Entertainment
      Television, in a statement Monday called Brown a towering figure in
      modern pop culture.

      "We have lost the most inspirational force the music world has ever
      known. James Brown's impact across all genres of music — especially
      funk, soul, disco and rock — is immeasurable and will never be
      duplicated," Lee said. "He was one of the few individuals who truly
      merited recognition as an American legend."

      The legend wasn't always embraced warmly. There was a stint in
      prison, the strife with women in his life and the chapters of his
      career when the mainstream audience left him, for reasons either
      musical or personal. Still, in January 1986, there was absolutely no
      surprise when Brown was among the first class of inductees into the
      Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with Presley, Ray Charles, Chuck
      Berry and six other pioneering figures.

      That same year he published "Godfather of Soul: An Autobiography." In
      it, he talked about Presley: "Not long after I was put in the Hall of
      Fame I was in a restaurant with a white friend of mine. Another white
      fella came up and said, 'Elvis was the greatest, and you're next.'
      That was from his side. Then a black girl came up and said to my
      white friends, 'The black people love him — y'all like him — but he's
      still ours.' Between those two people I bridged the gap. Elvis was
      American as apple pie. Years ago I couldn't be American as apple pie.
      It took me four generations to be apple pie."

      The odyssey was a strange one. Brown was married four times and had a
      history of domestic violence accusations, and he had been repeatedly
      arrested in recent decades. But on Monday he was hailed as a national
      treasure.

      "For half a century, the innovative talent of the 'Godfather of Soul'
      enriched our culture and influenced generations of musicians,"
      President Bush said in a statement. "An American original, his fans
      came from all occupations and backgrounds. James Brown's family and
      friends are in our thoughts and prayers this Christmas."

      James Joseph Brown Jr. was born May 3, 1933 (although the date, place
      and even his exact name have been matters of contention). It was two
      months after Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn in as president and,
      looking out on a nation in the grips of the Great Depression, told
      Americans that they had nothing to fear but fear itself. Brown was
      delivered in a one-room shack in the pinelands outside Barnwell,
      S.C., and appeared to be stillborn. But, as his father wept, the
      baby's great aunt, Minnie Walker, took him up into her arms and
      breathed into his mouth until, finally, he stirred. In his book,
      Brown wrote that his family tree was largely a mystery to him, but he
      believed that he had a Cherokee grandfather on one side and one who
      was "highly Asian" on the other.

      The boy's mother left when he was 4, and he didn't see her again for
      two decades. His father, Joe Gardner, sapped trees at the turpentine
      camps, and the boy, so far out in the woods, had a fairly solitary
      youth. One of the sounds that kept him company was the harmonica his
      father gave him. His father also sang to him, usually grim and
      unvarnished blues songs of the day, such as the tunes of Blind Boy
      Fuller. The music didn't click with the boy.

      "I don't remember whether I sang them, but I know I never liked
      them," Brown wrote in "Godfather of Soul." "This is going to surprise
      a lot of people; I still don't like the blues. Never have."

      What did have allure for him were the circuses that rolled through
      town with their gaudy fanfare and shameless sawdust melodrama;
      Brown's day-to-day life may have been grim, but he didn't want his
      entertainment to follow suit.

      The boy and his father moved to Augusta, Ga., in 1938 in search of
      better opportunities. There, the youngster would end up living in a
      roadhouse brothel with Walker, his great aunt, and he made money by
      picking cotton, shining shoes and kicking up dust with the buckdances
      that he did to amuse the servicemen who, as the 1940s began, were
      being stationed at a nearby airstrip and arsenal.

      Brown also was a petty criminal or, as he described himself, "a
      little roughneck, a thug." At 16, after a car burglary spree, he was
      convicted on charges of breaking and entering and larceny and sent
      upstate to a juvenile detention facility in Rome. He spent three
      years there, and to pass the time he took up boxing and sang in a
      gospel group. After his release, he flirted with a career in the ring
      or as a professional ballplayer, but a leg injury nudged him further
      toward music.



      First stage gig

      He played his first stage gig at Bill's Rendezvous Club in Toccoa,
      Ga., as a member of Bobby Byrd's gospel group, which by 1953 was
      called the Gospel Starlighters. But the snappy movie reels featuring
      Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five had been tugging Brown's musical
      interests toward more secular pursuits. Then he and Byrd drove over
      to Greenville, S.C., and caught a show by Hank Ballard and the
      Midnighters; Ballard had a tawdry sensation with "Work With Me
      Annie," a song deemed too sexually charged for radio. According
      to "Godfather of Soul," Brown and Byrd shook hands at the show and
      pledged that they would someday swap their seats in the audience for
      stardom on stage.

      The Famous Flames, as Brown and Byrd now called their group, made a
      rough recording of "Please Please Please" at a radio station in
      Macon, Ga., in November 1955. Over the next four months, talent scout
      Ralph Bass signed Brown, took the Flames to Ohio for polished studio
      sessions and released the single. "Please Please Please" was a Top 10
      hit on the R&B charts by April. One critic of the day likened the
      sound to "Little Richard fronting the Drifters."

      Then in October 1957 Brown got a major break when Little Richard put
      his rock 'n' roll career on hiatus and Brown was recruited to take
      some of his bookings. Then Brown scored a No. 1 R&B hit with the
      yearning ballad "Try Me" in 1958. With Byrd joining him in a
      reconstituted band, the singer made his debut at the Apollo Theater
      in Harlem in April 1959.

      The 1960s music of Brown was pushing in new directions and sometimes
      seemed like a fever dream with an irresistible rhythm section. Songs
      such as "I'll Go Crazy," "Think" and "You've Got the Power" were
      tapping into blossoming soul music but with a jazz mentality and a
      frenetic, restless sound that belonged to Brown alone. Brown wanted
      to match his band's fiery name on stage, so at the end of his first
      headlining night at the Apollo he jumped from the top of the piano
      and plunged off the stage. The crowd nearly tore him apart in its
      excitement.

      Brown wanted to take a different kind of leap and record the band's
      live show. Syd Nathan, who ran King Records Co., balked at the notion
      that the public would have any interest in a concert of previously
      released material, especially with a rowdy crowd marring the taping.
      Brown paid for the recording himself and made music history. "Live at
      the Apollo, Vol. 1" was released in 1963 and climbed to No. 2 on the
      album charts.



      Concert album

      Some radio stations took to playing a whole side of the concert album
      at a time, burnishing Brown's reputation as a truly special force on
      stage. In 2004, the Library of Congress added the album to the
      National Recording Registry. A year earlier, Rolling Stone magazine
      had ranked "Apollo" at No. 24 on its tally of the 500 greatest albums.

      Brown became one of the hottest concert tickets in pop and traveled
      the world. By his own reckoning, he would lose five pounds or more
      during one of his frenzied exhibitions. No shows were alike, either,
      he bragged, emphasizing the jazz-like improvisation of his band,
      which he famously chided for any lapse or lack of allegiance.

      Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, quoted in 1965, marveled at Brown
      and scoffed at the notion of comparing Stones singer Mick Jagger to
      the soul star. "He does the most incredible dancing, like Mick, only
      about 20 times faster…. You could put Jerry Lee Lewis, Little
      Richard, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley on one side of the stage, and
      James Brown on the other, and you wouldn't even notice the others
      were up there!"

      The mid-1960s saw Brown hit his commercial peak. In February 1965, he
      released "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," a revolutionary single that
      crossed over to the Top 10 on the pop chart, where it was followed in
      short order by "I Feel Good (I Got You)." That song still resonates
      today: It's the oldest recording that gets regular airplay on Radio
      Disney, a channel not known for plumbing oldies for its pre-teen
      audience. The song fits in with today's collage-minded and beat-
      driven music and with good reason; Brown is routinely referred to as
      the most sampled artist in hip-hop history, and his music helped
      shape the spare aesthetics and bravado of the two-turntable-and-a-
      microphone generation.

      Ann Powers, pop music critic for The Times, said Monday that Brown
      made lifeblood contributions to pop culture with his sonic
      innovations.

      "James Brown's music is not just the heartbeat of American music,
      it's the whole circulation system," Powers said. "He took R&B into
      the soul era with his raw, infinitely nuanced approach to singing and
      musical arrangements, and invented funk by transforming African
      polyrhythms into the American vernacular. His band was primary school
      for a legion of great musicians, and in the hip-hop era, his music
      only grew in importance, becoming the very foundation of hip-hop."

      Little Richard, who was inducted with Brown into the Rock and Roll
      Hall of Fame in 1986, told MSNBC on Monday that the Godfather of Soul
      also was a parent to hip-hop. "He was an innovator, he was an
      emancipator, he was an originator," Richard said. "Rap music, all
      that stuff came from James Brown."

      Funk and beat-spiked R&B also trace back to Brown. Prince's official
      website was silent Monday — instead of the usual page and posting,
      there was only a black screen with a message in purple: "In Restful
      Peace, James Brown."

      Brown has been parodied for his one-of-a-kind, difficult-to-decipher
      vocal style (Eddie Murphy, for instance, memorably spoofed his music
      hero on "Saturday Night Live" for his penchant for staccato
      gibberish). That didn't mean Brown didn't have plenty to say — just
      the opposite. In 1968, he created a lighting-rod anthem that helped
      change the American lexicon.

      "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)" was a message of defiance and
      celebration, and Brown often said that, in his view, it pushed the
      nation's African American community to fully turn away from "Negro"
      as a self-identifier.

      In early 1969, a Look magazine cover posed the question: "Is he the
      most important black man in America?" The accompanying article
      detailed Brown's business empire, his populist ideals and cultural
      resonance, and declared him to be "the black Horatio Alger."

      Powers hailed him for being too restless to merely use his stardom to
      sell records. "Brown's hugely resonant personality, black and proud,
      helped inspire the civil rights movement and defined the image of the
      powerful soul brother," she said. "Pop endlessly recycles sounds and
      personality, but this is one person who cannot be superseded or
      replaced."

      But as Brown's music and persona became more political, he lost some
      of his audience. He also said that he was viewed with fear and anger
      by some of the American establishment, which he said led to tax
      investigations and harassment in the 1970s. He also endured the death
      of his son, Teddy, in a car crash in 1973. The 1970s ended with more
      financial problems, accusations regarding a payola scandal and the
      awkward 1979 stab for a new audience with "The Original Disco Man,"
      which performed miserably.

      The 1980s and the ascent of hip-hop brought Brown back some measure
      of attention. "I Know You Got Soul" by Eric B. and Rakim was one of
      the first of a flood of rap classics that culled samples from Brown's
      vintage vinyl. Brown also poked fun at himself in 1980 with a well-
      received role as an over-the-top preacher in the hit comedy film "The
      Blues Brothers."

      In January 1986, Brown parlayed another film job into a hit record.
      The anthem "Living in America," the theme from the movie "Rocky IV,"
      hit No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a curious contribution
      to the swell of 1980s patriotic pop culture. It was Brown's biggest
      single since "I Got You (I Feel Good)" went to No. 3 in 1965.



      Legal problems

      Two years later, the wild ride of Brown took another grim turn. In
      September 1988, Brown, who was brandishing a shotgun, charged into an
      insurance seminar in Augusta, which led to a police pursuit. There
      had been a flurry of other incidents in the previous months,
      including charges of assault on a police officer, a weapons violation
      and possession of the drug PCP.

      The spree led to a six-year prison sentence, which met with a stir of
      protest that it was too severe and that the circumstances of his
      offenses had been exaggerated. Brown left prison on parole on Feb.
      27, 1991, but there would be more legal problems, and financial
      issues would continue past his 70th birthday. The personal turbulence
      was juxtaposed with public ovations, such the Grammy Lifetime
      Achievement Award in 1992 and the Kennedy Centers Honors in 2003.

      Brown, through it all, continued to perform. He was scheduled to take
      the stage Wednesday in Connecticut and carry on with a road run
      through the states, Canada and Europe through next summer. The Rev.
      Jesse Jackson said Monday that it was fitting that the ultimate
      showman took his final curtain call against a holiday backdrop of
      lights and music.

      "He was dramatic to the end, dying on Christmas Day," Jackson
      said. "He'll be all over the news all over the world today. He would
      have it no other way."

      Memorial service arrangements were pending Monday. In Los Angeles, a
      candlelight vigil is scheduled at 5 p.m. today at Leimert Park at
      3415 W. 43rd St.


      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      ----------
      geoff.boucher@...

      *

      (INFOBOX BELOW)

      James Brown's hits

      James Brown had dozens of hits over his decades-long career. Here is
      a smattering of his seminal, career-defining songs:



      1956: "Please, Please, Please" — This begging ballad about a man
      trying to keep his woman took on a raw, sensual tone as Brown growled
      and yelped through the burning track.

      1961: "Bewildered" — Brown's she-done-me-wrong classic. He shrieks
      and shouts passionately, "bewildered" by the actions of his now-
      former woman.

      1962: "Night Train" — One of the first songs to feature the tight,
      jumping horn section that would become a cornerstone of most of his
      major hits. Brown's rough-edged voice shouts out cities nationwide on
      the "Night Train" route.

      1965: "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag (Part I)" — Another classic dance
      track about — what else — dancing.

      1965: "I Got You (I Feel Good)" — Perhaps Brown's most famous tune,
      and one of the all-time greatest songs in rock's canon. A buoyant,
      joyful jam that is an instant party starter. If you've never heard
      this, you've never heard music.

      1966: "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" — Though the title may suggest
      a chauvinistic ode, this passionate, downbeat track really pays
      homage to a man's eternal need for a woman by his side.

      1967: "Cold Sweat (Part I)" — A smoking, sultry mid-tempo jam that
      features Brown singing about a woman who makes him weak-kneed. It was
      sampled by dozens, perhaps hundreds of '80s rap songs.

      1968: "Say it Loud — I'm Black and I'm Proud (Part 1)" — Released at
      the height of the civil rights movement, this anthem boldly asserted
      pride in being black at a time when African Americans were still
      fighting for basic rights.

      1970: "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine (Part 1)" — Despite
      its somewhat risque title, this frenetic groove is more of a call to
      move your feet. Perhaps Brown's second most-famous song, its
      signature is its slamming rhythm section.

      1971: "Make It Funky (Part 1)" — This could be the theme song of
      Brown's entire career. It begins with Brown saying what would become
      his motto: "[Whatever] I play, it's got to be funky!"

      1974: "Papa Don't Take No Mess (Part I)": Brown's amazing, funky
      tribute to a hard-nosed, stern dad.

      1974: "The Payback (Part I)": The ultimate revenge song, this song
      sounded as if it would fit right in with many of the blaxploitation
      soundtracks of the day with its blaring horns and rumbling bass
      lines.

      1976: "Get Up Offa That Thing": A killer bass instead of horns is the
      real glue of this James Brown classic dance groove.

      1985: "Living in America" — This rousing patriotic song from the
      fourth installment of the "Rocky" movie franchise reestablished Brown
      as a hit-maker in his fifth decade.

      1988: "Static, Pts. 1 & 2" (with Full Force) — As Brown's music was
      being sampled right and left by rappers, Brown showed hip-hop heads
      how it should be done with this sizzling collaboration.

      =======

      Say it loud: He gave music some new moves
      By Robert Hilburn, Special to The Times
      http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-me-
      hilburn26dec26,1,5824999.story


      FOR all the impact of such towering figures as Ray Charles, Sam Cooke
      and Marvin Gaye, no one influenced black music more than James Brown
      because no one mirrored black culture more than the man behind such
      hits as "Please, Please, Please," "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "I
      Got You (I Feel Good)."

      You hear his percolating style in Prince's funky guitar licks, see
      his spectacular physicality in Michael Jackson's dance steps and feel
      his spirit and self-affirmation in every explosive hip-hop record.

      Long before he was showered with celebrated (and eminently fitting)
      titles such as "the Godfather of Soul" and "the Hardest-Working Man
      in Show Business," Brown was briefly thought of by some as the black
      Elvis, which was mostly silly — except in one profound way.

      If Presley was the artist most often cited by leading white musicians
      as an influence — and I found that to be true in the '60s and '70s —
      Brown was the name I most often heard when asking African American
      musicians about who inspired them.

      Brown's influence isn't limited to black artists by any means. One of
      the most illuminating pop moments ever captured by a camera was when
      a young Mick Jagger stood in the wings, mesmerized, watching Brown's
      seductive moves during the '60s concert film "The T.A.M.I. Show," and
      we all know how Jagger eventually built his stage performance around
      those moves.

      If anything, Brown's impact on modern pop music is underrated, partly
      because he did most of his defining work on secondary record labels
      that didn't have massive publicity machines and he never really
      embraced the mainstream the way, say, Ray Charles did. Yet, you could
      build a case that Brown was also the "Godfather of Disco,"
      the "Godfather of Rap" and the "Godfather of Funk" because his
      electrifying beats powered so many genres.

      Like Presley, the Southern-bred musician touched a sociological nerve
      that went far beyond normal pop stardom.

      Though the lyrics of Brown's hits were often little more than catchy
      phrases, the best lines were right in step with the rise of black
      pride in this country, and they are why he was such a powerful,
      beloved figure during the civil rights era.

      "Say It Loud — I'm Black and I'm Proud," he screamed on a record,
      released only five months after the assassination of the Rev. Martin
      Luther King Jr., that channeled the righteousness of an oppressed
      people into a three-minute declaration of independence that topped
      the R&B charts for weeks.

      Though millions of pop and rock fans also thrilled to Brown's music
      in the '60s and '70s, he wasn't embraced by mainstream radio nearly
      as strongly as by R&B stations, which is why he had 60 top 10 R&B
      hits (more than any other artist) but fewer than a dozen top 10 pop
      hits (which wasn't enough to place him in the top 25 among artists).

      Given the immense appeal of his records and style, it's hard now to
      understand his relatively limited chart success, but the noteworthy
      thing about Brown's music is it is so enduring. By the mid-'80s,
      other artists, especially the Beatles and Bob Dylan, were cited by
      white musicians as their chief inspiration, but Brown remained the
      influence most mentioned by black musicians (along with a sizable
      number of white musicians).

      Lots of early R&B stars made records with an eye toward the pop
      mainstream, especially the lucrative teenage market, but Brown, in
      the tradition of bluesman John Lee Hooker, never tempered his blues-
      R&B-gospel merger, and his themes were mostly adult: "Get Up (I Feel
      Like Being A) Sex Machine," "It's a Man's Man's Man's World"
      and "Cold Sweat."

      Brown didn't sing as much as he growled, as if he were trying to
      match the intensity that grew out of his essential funk brew, powered
      by guitars, horns, bass and drums.

      He wasn't an easy interview; he didn't seem interested in talking
      about himself (his background was troubled, and he had more than his
      share of court appearances) or his music. Thus, he ended up telling
      the same stories over and over.

      Part of the problem was that Brown found it frustrating to try to
      explain his true passion — the elements of his music — just as a
      great painter finds it difficult to tell us why he sees things in a
      certain way. Writers too had a hard time capturing in words the magic
      of Brown's instrumental sound.

      In the end, Brown seemed comfortable only in the studio and,
      especially, on stage. At his prime, he moved with such speed and
      grace that it took your breath away. Even listening to his superb
      live albums — starting with 1962's "Live at the Apollo" — you feel
      the heat of his scorching performance.

      The easiest way to explain Brown's genius to someone is simply to
      play one of his best records.

      In nominating the 500 greatest singles ever in a 1989 book, rock
      critic Dave Marsh listed "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" at No. 3,
      declaring that the only way the single could be "more bone-rattling
      was if Brown himself leaped from your speakers, grabbed you tight by
      the shoulders and danced you around the room, all the while screaming
      straight into your face." He added, "No record before 'Papa's'
      sounded anything like it. No record since — certainly no dance
      record — has been unmarked by it."

      Still, my favorite James Brown record is probably "I Got You (I Feel
      Good)," which was the follow-up to "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." It
      was a record of supreme optimism and cheer. I've even got a foot-high
      James Brown bobblehead in my den, and it screams "I Feel Good" when
      you push a button.

      I've pushed it dozens of times when friends were over, and every time
      it brought smiles. It's just one sign that Brown's music remains
      powerful. For another sign, just turn on the radio. Half the music
      you hear, from Kanye West and Jay Z to Justin Timberlake and the Red
      Hot Chili Peppers, is in part a testimony to that power.

      At some point today, I'll just push the button on the bobblehead
      doll, or put on one of Brown's CDs. There's no way that music won't
      still make you feel alive. What a wonderful legacy for any artist.

      ======

      James Brown's Body to Lie at Apollo
      By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer
      http://www.latimes.com/news/sns-ap-james-brown-funeral,1,2112336.story


      NEW YORK -- The body of soul singer James Brown will be returned
      Thursday to the site of his debut -- the legendary Apollo Theater in
      Harlem -- so the public that saw and heard him leave a lasting
      impression on music can see him one last time, the Rev. Al Sharpton
      said Tuesday.

      Brown's body will rest on the stage of the Apollo from 1 p.m. to 8
      p.m., and thousands of people will be permitted one more look at a
      man who steered modern music toward the rhythm-and-blues, funk, hip-
      hop, disco and rap beats popular today, said Sharpton, a close friend
      of Brown for decades.

      "It would almost be unthinkable for a man who lived such a
      sensational life to go away quietly," Sharpton told The Associated
      Press in an interview from Georgia, where he was making funeral
      arrangements with Brown's children.

      Sharpton said he and the children viewed Brown's body Tuesday.

      "I looked at his body. I was walking in half disbelief and sadness
      but proud," he said. "I couldn't even begin to describe it, to walk
      around his house and he not be there."

      Sharpton said the public Apollo viewing will be followed by a private
      ceremony Friday in Brown's hometown, Augusta, Ga., and another public
      ceremony, officiated by Sharpton, a day later at the James Brown
      Arena there.

      "His greatest thrill was always the lines around the Apollo Theater,"
      Sharpton said of the 125th Street landmark. "I felt that James Brown
      in all the years we talked would have wanted one last opportunity to
      let the people say goodbye to him and he to the people."

      Brown, known as the Godfather of Soul, died of congestive heart
      failure on Christmas morning in Atlanta at age 73. He had been
      scheduled to perform on New Year's Eve in Manhattan at B.B. King's
      blues club.

      Sharpton said he and Brown's children talked Tuesday about the moment
      after the Rev. Martin Luther King's assassination when Brown stepped
      to a microphone and told gathering crowds of angry people to go home.

      "And they went home," Sharpton said. "For them to riot for a man who
      lived a life of peace would send the wrong message. He always said he
      was surprised and humbled that he had that influence."

      Sharpton said Brown was "always very sensitive as to how people could
      be remembered."

      The Apollo began recruiting and showcasing talent in 1934. Early acts
      included "Pigmeat" Markham and Jackie "Moms" Mabley. Before long,
      Lena Horne, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin and Brown
      were making their debuts. Audiences cheered the likes of Ella
      Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Michael Jackson, Fats Waller, Fats
      Domino, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier,
      Sammy Davis Jr. and Nina Simone. Comedians such as Redd Foxx and
      Richard Pryor performed, too.

      Sharpton said he had been like a son to Brown since they met in 1973,
      introduced by Brown's son, Teddy, shortly before the teenager died in
      a car crash.

      He said the son had wanted to encourage his father's support for
      Sharpton's youth organization, leading Brown to begin a lifelong
      commitment to Sharpton's civil-rights projects.

      "I became the son he lost," Sharpton said.

      Sharpton said Brown always knew his place in history.

      "He used to tell me, `There are two American originals, Elvis and
      me,'" Sharpton said. "`Elvis is gone, and I've got to carry on.'"

      Brown's agent, Frank Copsidas, said family members have requested
      that in lieu of flowers, contribution be made to the James Brown
      Music Education Foundation, which provides scholarships for aspiring
      musicians. The address is James Brown Music Education Foundation c/o
      Intrigue Music, 601 W. 26th St., Suite 1080, New York, N.Y. 10001.


      ======


      Sharpton: Brown changed the world and a young preacher forever
      From Associated Press
      http://www.latimes.com/news/la-122506sharpton-brown,1,6459293.story


      NEW YORK -- The Rev. Al Sharpton remembers spotting his mentor, James
      Brown, for the first time backstage just before an early 1970s
      concert. Brown, in front of a mirror combing his spiked hair, urged
      the impressionable teenager to aim high.

      Brown advised Sharpton not to "go for little things -- go for the
      whole hog." Then Brown, grabbing a microphone, kept talking right up
      to when he put the microphone to his lips and sang.

      The startled Sharpton realized he had followed his American idol on
      stage.

      "I didn't know what to do so I started dancing," Sharpton recalled
      Monday in an interview. Later, he sobbed as he spoke at a news
      conference, shortly before leaving for Georgia to see Brown's
      daughters and offer help planning the funeral.

      After that fateful concert in Newark, N.J., Brown supported
      Sharpton's fledgling youth group and brought him along so often on
      concerts that people thought Sharpton was Brown's road manager.

      The tight bond developed in part because Brown's teenage son, an
      aspiring lawyer who joined Sharpton's youth group and arranged the
      first meeting between Sharpton and Brown, died soon afterward.

      Their father-and-son relationship continued to the end when Sharpton
      learned of Brown's death in a 3 a.m. Christmas call from Brown's
      manager. The manager told Sharpton he and Brown were talking on the
      phone at 1:45 a.m. about old times when Brown took two breaths "and
      went out."

      Sharpton called the death "the heaviest loss I've ever endured," and
      said he hopes Brown gets acknowledged in death for the full effect he
      had on music, social trends and blacks.

      "I don't think he ever got his credit because people saw him just as
      the show man and not the music innovator and the social innovator
      that he was," Sharpton said. "He changed the perception of regular
      blacks. He wasn't tall, light skinned. He wasn't polished. He was us.
      It meant the rest of us could make it."

      Sharpton called Brown "a person of epic proportions" and said his
      influence on music from soul to hip-hop to rap and beyond was as
      great as "what Bach was to classical music." His accomplishments were
      even more impressive because Brown, Sharpton said, never took a music
      or vocal lesson and never wrote music, preferring to gather musicians
      around and hum out a beat.

      "This is a guy who literally changed the music industry," Sharpton
      said. "He put everybody on a different beat, a different style of
      music. He pioneered it."

      Sharpton said Brown also will be remembered for his effect on the
      country's social fiber.

      "It was James Brown that made it fashionable to stop calling blacks
      Negro," he said. "Even though he had his legal difficulties, no one
      stopped giving him respect."

      Throughout their relationship, Sharpton said Brown kept coaching him,
      including in his last phone call a week ago when the man Sharpton
      said "made soul music a world music" spoke of the early days as well
      as a recent police shooting that left an unarmed man dead on his
      wedding day.

      During their final conversation, Brown told Sharpton that life in
      America for blacks had improved and worsened in some ways during his
      lifetime and he hoped the tradition of fighting injustice with love
      rather than violence continued.

      "He was also disappointed that a lot of the artists had lowered their
      standards," Sharpton said. "He didn't like the profanity, calling
      people niggers in records and calling women whores and bitches."

      Sharpton said his friend cherished his honors, even if they missed
      the full impact of his achievements, and he was never bitter.

      "I think he accepted some never get their due until after they're
      dead," he said.

      Every day, Sharpton delivers on a promise he made to Brown a couple
      of decades ago when he asked the civil rights activist "to straighten
      your hair like mine so when people see you they think you're my son."

      Brown often called Sharpton, urging: "I want you to keep it that way
      until I die."

      Sharpton said he will never give up the look.

      "That's my bond with James Brown."

      ===========

      Brown's Partner: Locked Out of Home
      By HARRY R. WEBER, Associated Press Writer
      http://www.latimes.com/news/sns-ap-james-brown-widow,1,3717325.story


      ATLANTA -- James Brown's lawyer says the late singer and his partner
      weren't legally married and that she was locked out of his South
      Carolina home for estate legal reasons. The partner, one of Brown's
      backup singers, says the couple was married and she can prove it.

      The back and forth continued for most of Tuesday, as Tomi Rae Hynie,
      Brown's partner and the mother of his 5-year-old son, camped out at
      an Augusta hotel with no change of clothes and no money.

      "It's not a reflection on her as an individual," lawyer Buddy Dallas
      told The Associated Press on Tuesday of the decision to bar Hynie
      from Brown's home in Beech Island, S.C. "I have not even been in the
      house, nor will I until appropriate protocol is followed."

      Hynie was already married to a Texas man in 2001 when she married
      Brown, thus making her marriage to the "Godfather of Soul" null,
      Dallas said. He said Hynie later annulled the previous marriage, but
      she and Brown never remarried.

      "I suppose it would mean she was, from time to time, a guest in Mr.
      Brown's home," Dallas said.

      Brown, 73, died at an Atlanta hospital Monday. After his death,
      Hynie, 36, found the gates to the singer's home padlocked and said
      she was denied access.

      Hynie argued that she has a legal right to live in the home with the
      couple's 5-year-old son. "This is my home," she told a reporter
      outside the house. "I don't have any money. I don't have anywhere to
      go."

      In a phone interview with The Associated Press from an Augusta hotel
      Tuesday, Hynie said she had documentation to prove she was legally
      married to Brown.

      Hynie said the couple had planned to renew their vows but not
      remarry. She indicated that while annulment papers relating to her
      previous marriage initially may not have been filed properly, a judge
      had told her she was legally married to Brown.

      "I just want this resolved," Hynie said.

      Dallas said legal formalities needed to be followed, adding that
      Brown's estate was left in trust for his children. He declined to
      elaborate on Brown's final instructions.

      "Ms. Hynie has a home a few blocks away from Mr. Brown's home where
      she resides periodically when she is not with Mr. Brown," Dallas
      said. "She is not without housing or home."

      Dallas said Brown and Hynie hadn't seen each other for several weeks
      before his death.

      Hynie said Brown had sent her to California for a few weeks to relax
      on the beach after a recent concert tour.

      "I was taking antidepressants," she said. "My job, marriage was
      difficult. So he sent me to the beach. He paid $24,000 for me to go."

      "He was a difficult man to live with, but he was a great man," she
      said. "I was the only one who could handle James."

      Hynie said she believes Brown's representatives were trying to
      discredit her so that his estate wouldn't have to be shared with her.
      She acknowledged that the bulk of the estate was left to Brown's
      children, but said Brown had told her she could live in his home with
      their child as long as she wanted.

      "That was James Brown's wishes," Hynie said as she broke down in
      tears.

      Hynie and Brown had a sometimes tumultuous relationship. Brown
      pleaded guilty in 2004 to a domestic violence charge stemming from an
      argument with Hynie and paid a $1,087 fine. He was accused of pushing
      Hynie to the floor at the home and threatening to kill her.

      Brown is survived by at least four children, said his agent, Frank
      Copsidas.
    • madchinaman
      Pioneering and volatile -- the stage was his world By Geoff Boucher, Times Staff Writer http://www.latimes.com/news/la-me-brown26dec26,1,1300323,full.story - -
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 26, 2006
        Pioneering and volatile -- the stage was his world
        By Geoff Boucher, Times Staff Writer
        http://www.latimes.com/news/la-me-brown26dec26,1,1300323,full.story


        -
        -
        -

        In his book,
        Brown wrote that his family tree was largely a mystery to him, but he
        believed that he had a Cherokee grandfather on one side and one who
        was "highly Asian" on the other.

        -

        James Brown had dozens of hits over his decades-long career. Here is
        a smattering of his seminal, career-defining songs. Click on a title
        for a description of the song, or click the speaker icon on selected
        songs to hear an audio clip.
        » 1956: "Please, Please, Please"
        This begging ballad about a man trying to keep his woman took on a
        raw, sensual tone as Brown growled and yelped through the burning
        track.
        » 1961: "Bewildered"
        Brown's she-done-me-wrong classic. He shrieks and shouts
        passionately, "bewildered" by the actions of his now-former woman.
        » 1962: "Night Train"
        One of the first songs to feature the tight, jumping horn section
        that would become a cornerstone of most of his major hits. Brown's
        rough-edged voice shouts out cities nationwide on the "Night Train"
        route.
        » 1965: "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag (Part I)"
        Another classic dance track about — what else — dancing.
        » 1965: "I Got You (I Feel Good)"
        Perhaps Brown's most famous tune, and one of the all-time greatest
        songs in rock's canon. A buoyant, joyful jam that is an instant party
        starter. If you've never heard this, you've never heard music.
        » 1966: "It's a Man's Man's Man's World"
        Though the title may suggest a chauvinistic ode, this passionate,
        downbeat track really pays homage to a man's eternal need for a woman
        by his side.
        » 1967: "Cold Sweat (Part I)"
        A smoking, sultry mid-tempo jam that features Brown singing about a
        woman who makes him weak-kneed. It was sampled by dozens, perhaps
        hundreds of '80s rap songs.
        » 1968: "Say it Loud — I'm Black and I'm Proud (Part 1)"
        Released at the height of the civil rights movement, this anthem
        boldly asserted pride in being black at a time when African Americans
        were still fighting for basic rights.
        » 1970: "Get Up (I Feel Like Being) Sex Machine (Part 1)"
        Despite its somewhat risque title, this frenetic groove is more of a
        call to move your feet. Perhaps Brown's second most-famous song, its
        signature is its slamming rhythm section.
        » 1971: "Make It Funky (Part 1)"
        This could be the theme song of Brown's entire career. It begins with
        Brown saying what would become his motto: "[Whatever] I play, it's
        got to be funky!"
        » 1974: "Papa Don't Take No Mess (Part I)"
        Brown's amazing, funky tribute to a hard-nosed, stern dad.
        » 1974: "The Payback (Part I)"
        The ultimate revenge song, this song sounded as if it would fit right
        in with many of the blaxploitation soundtracks of the day with its
        blaring horns and rumbling bass lines.
        » 1976: "Get Up Offa That Thing"
        A killer bass instead of horns are the real glue of this James Brown
        classic dance groove.
        » 1985: "Living in America"
        This rousing, patriotic song from the fourth installment of
        the "Rocky" movie franchise re-established Brown as a hit maker in
        his fifth decade.
        » 1988: "Static, Pts. 1 & 2" (with Full Force)
        As Brown's music was being sampled right and left by rappers, Brown
        showed hip-hop heads how it should be done with this sizzling
        collaboration.
        Source: Associated Press

        -
        -
        -


        LAST month, on a frosty night in Zagreb, Croatia, they draped the
        shimmering cape on the shoulders of James Brown for the last time. As
        the crowd cheered, the "Hardest Working Man in Show Business," whose
        career had begun six decades and a world away as a child dancing for
        coins along the Savannah River, walked away from the microphone.

        "They loved it, they came out for the show; it didn't matter how cold
        it was, the crowds always came out for Mr. Brown," said Danny Ray,
        the emcee who had introduced Brown at performances since the early
        1960s. "It was a good night. If you never saw Mr. Brown, well,
        there's no way to tell you about it. Not really. He was one of a
        kind."

        The singular life of James Brown ended on Christmas Day at Emory
        Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta. The 73-year-old singer left his
        home in his native South Carolina for dental work in Georgia but then
        fell ill and was admitted to the hospital over the weekend. His
        agent, Frank Copsidas, said the early indications are that Brown died
        of congestive heart failure.

        Anyone who watched Brown — on stage or off — had to marvel that his
        heart had endured as long as it did.

        A whirling, feverish performer, Brown was a melodramatic showman,
        with his scissor-splits and ritual of feigning fatigue, being led off
        stage in a cape and then charging back with evangelical zeal. More
        than that, he created a staccato vocabulary of dance that echoes in
        the steps of Michael Jackson, Prince, Usher and new performers today
        such as Chris Brown.

        His music, meanwhile, was a unique bridge between soul and funk, and
        its audacious experiments with beat and structure made it a vital
        template for the hip-hop revolution.

        Brown's life was as jolting as his art; there was his firebrand role
        in the black pride movement and his outspoken boldness on issues of
        race inequality — but there also were his bizarre drug and crime
        exploits and mercurial personality, which could be as coiled and
        unpredictable as his music. All of it combined to make him a volatile
        figure of fascination, a Miles Davis with dance moves.

        The hits began in 1956 with "Please Please Please," a straightforward
        R&B hit of its time, but by 1961, with the memorable and unexpected
        sound of "Night Train," the singer was moving toward a sound that was
        melodically minimal and rhythm-heavy, laced with brass and punctuated
        by the ad-lib vocals that would become his signature. True national
        stardom arrived with the 1963 landmark release, "Live at the Apollo,
        Vol. I," hailed by many critics as one of the essential concert
        albums in modern music.



        Electrifying performer



        Brown's live prowess and his incandescent hits — among them "Papa's
        Got a Brand New Bag," "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and "Get Up (I Feel
        Like Being A) Sex Machine (Part 1)" — earned him the moniker the
        Godfather of Soul. But, like Elvis Presley, he cut across musical
        boundaries and then made new ones. As Rick Rubin, the producer, once
        wrote: "James Brown is his own genre."

        Debra Lee, the chief executive officer of Black Entertainment
        Television, in a statement Monday called Brown a towering figure in
        modern pop culture.

        "We have lost the most inspirational force the music world has ever
        known. James Brown's impact across all genres of music — especially
        funk, soul, disco and rock — is immeasurable and will never be
        duplicated," Lee said. "He was one of the few individuals who truly
        merited recognition as an American legend."

        The legend wasn't always embraced warmly. There was a stint in
        prison, the strife with women in his life and the chapters of his
        career when the mainstream audience left him, for reasons either
        musical or personal. Still, in January 1986, there was absolutely no
        surprise when Brown was among the first class of inductees into the
        Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with Presley, Ray Charles, Chuck
        Berry and six other pioneering figures.

        That same year he published "Godfather of Soul: An Autobiography." In
        it, he talked about Presley: "Not long after I was put in the Hall of
        Fame I was in a restaurant with a white friend of mine. Another white
        fella came up and said, 'Elvis was the greatest, and you're next.'
        That was from his side. Then a black girl came up and said to my
        white friends, 'The black people love him — y'all like him — but he's
        still ours.' Between those two people I bridged the gap. Elvis was
        American as apple pie. Years ago I couldn't be American as apple pie.
        It took me four generations to be apple pie."

        The odyssey was a strange one. Brown was married four times and had a
        history of domestic violence accusations, and he had been repeatedly
        arrested in recent decades. But on Monday he was hailed as a national
        treasure.

        "For half a century, the innovative talent of the 'Godfather of Soul'
        enriched our culture and influenced generations of musicians,"
        President Bush said in a statement. "An American original, his fans
        came from all occupations and backgrounds. James Brown's family and
        friends are in our thoughts and prayers this Christmas."

        James Joseph Brown Jr. was born May 3, 1933 (although the date, place
        and even his exact name have been matters of contention). It was two
        months after Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn in as president and,
        looking out on a nation in the grips of the Great Depression, told
        Americans that they had nothing to fear but fear itself. Brown was
        delivered in a one-room shack in the pinelands outside Barnwell,
        S.C., and appeared to be stillborn. But, as his father wept, the
        baby's great aunt, Minnie Walker, took him up into her arms and
        breathed into his mouth until, finally, he stirred. In his book,
        Brown wrote that his family tree was largely a mystery to him, but he
        believed that he had a Cherokee grandfather on one side and one who
        was "highly Asian" on the other.

        The boy's mother left when he was 4, and he didn't see her again for
        two decades. His father, Joe Gardner, sapped trees at the turpentine
        camps, and the boy, so far out in the woods, had a fairly solitary
        youth. One of the sounds that kept him company was the harmonica his
        father gave him. His father also sang to him, usually grim and
        unvarnished blues songs of the day, such as the tunes of Blind Boy
        Fuller. The music didn't click with the boy.

        "I don't remember whether I sang them, but I know I never liked
        them," Brown wrote in "Godfather of Soul." "This is going to surprise
        a lot of people; I still don't like the blues. Never have."

        What did have allure for him were the circuses that rolled through
        town with their gaudy fanfare and shameless sawdust melodrama;
        Brown's day-to-day life may have been grim, but he didn't want his
        entertainment to follow suit.

        The boy and his father moved to Augusta, Ga., in 1938 in search of
        better opportunities. There, the youngster would end up living in a
        roadhouse brothel with Walker, his great aunt, and he made money by
        picking cotton, shining shoes and kicking up dust with the buckdances
        that he did to amuse the servicemen who, as the 1940s began, were
        being stationed at a nearby airstrip and arsenal.

        Brown also was a petty criminal or, as he described himself, "a
        little roughneck, a thug." At 16, after a car burglary spree, he was
        convicted on charges of breaking and entering and larceny and sent
        upstate to a juvenile detention facility in Rome. He spent three
        years there, and to pass the time he took up boxing and sang in a
        gospel group. After his release, he flirted with a career in the ring
        or as a professional ballplayer, but a leg injury nudged him further
        toward music.



        First stage gig

        He played his first stage gig at Bill's Rendezvous Club in Toccoa,
        Ga., as a member of Bobby Byrd's gospel group, which by 1953 was
        called the Gospel Starlighters. But the snappy movie reels featuring
        Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five had been tugging Brown's musical
        interests toward more secular pursuits. Then he and Byrd drove over
        to Greenville, S.C., and caught a show by Hank Ballard and the
        Midnighters; Ballard had a tawdry sensation with "Work With Me
        Annie," a song deemed too sexually charged for radio. According
        to "Godfather of Soul," Brown and Byrd shook hands at the show and
        pledged that they would someday swap their seats in the audience for
        stardom on stage.

        The Famous Flames, as Brown and Byrd now called their group, made a
        rough recording of "Please Please Please" at a radio station in
        Macon, Ga., in November 1955. Over the next four months, talent scout
        Ralph Bass signed Brown, took the Flames to Ohio for polished studio
        sessions and released the single. "Please Please Please" was a Top 10
        hit on the R&B charts by April. One critic of the day likened the
        sound to "Little Richard fronting the Drifters."

        Then in October 1957 Brown got a major break when Little Richard put
        his rock 'n' roll career on hiatus and Brown was recruited to take
        some of his bookings. Then Brown scored a No. 1 R&B hit with the
        yearning ballad "Try Me" in 1958. With Byrd joining him in a
        reconstituted band, the singer made his debut at the Apollo Theater
        in Harlem in April 1959.

        The 1960s music of Brown was pushing in new directions and sometimes
        seemed like a fever dream with an irresistible rhythm section. Songs
        such as "I'll Go Crazy," "Think" and "You've Got the Power" were
        tapping into blossoming soul music but with a jazz mentality and a
        frenetic, restless sound that belonged to Brown alone. Brown wanted
        to match his band's fiery name on stage, so at the end of his first
        headlining night at the Apollo he jumped from the top of the piano
        and plunged off the stage. The crowd nearly tore him apart in its
        excitement.

        Brown wanted to take a different kind of leap and record the band's
        live show. Syd Nathan, who ran King Records Co., balked at the notion
        that the public would have any interest in a concert of previously
        released material, especially with a rowdy crowd marring the taping.
        Brown paid for the recording himself and made music history. "Live at
        the Apollo, Vol. 1" was released in 1963 and climbed to No. 2 on the
        album charts.



        Concert album

        Some radio stations took to playing a whole side of the concert album
        at a time, burnishing Brown's reputation as a truly special force on
        stage. In 2004, the Library of Congress added the album to the
        National Recording Registry. A year earlier, Rolling Stone magazine
        had ranked "Apollo" at No. 24 on its tally of the 500 greatest albums.

        Brown became one of the hottest concert tickets in pop and traveled
        the world. By his own reckoning, he would lose five pounds or more
        during one of his frenzied exhibitions. No shows were alike, either,
        he bragged, emphasizing the jazz-like improvisation of his band,
        which he famously chided for any lapse or lack of allegiance.

        Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, quoted in 1965, marveled at Brown
        and scoffed at the notion of comparing Stones singer Mick Jagger to
        the soul star. "He does the most incredible dancing, like Mick, only
        about 20 times faster…. You could put Jerry Lee Lewis, Little
        Richard, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley on one side of the stage, and
        James Brown on the other, and you wouldn't even notice the others
        were up there!"

        The mid-1960s saw Brown hit his commercial peak. In February 1965, he
        released "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," a revolutionary single that
        crossed over to the Top 10 on the pop chart, where it was followed in
        short order by "I Feel Good (I Got You)." That song still resonates
        today: It's the oldest recording that gets regular airplay on Radio
        Disney, a channel not known for plumbing oldies for its pre-teen
        audience. The song fits in with today's collage-minded and beat-
        driven music and with good reason; Brown is routinely referred to as
        the most sampled artist in hip-hop history, and his music helped
        shape the spare aesthetics and bravado of the two-turntable-and-a-
        microphone generation.

        Ann Powers, pop music critic for The Times, said Monday that Brown
        made lifeblood contributions to pop culture with his sonic
        innovations.

        "James Brown's music is not just the heartbeat of American music,
        it's the whole circulation system," Powers said. "He took R&B into
        the soul era with his raw, infinitely nuanced approach to singing and
        musical arrangements, and invented funk by transforming African
        polyrhythms into the American vernacular. His band was primary school
        for a legion of great musicians, and in the hip-hop era, his music
        only grew in importance, becoming the very foundation of hip-hop."

        Little Richard, who was inducted with Brown into the Rock and Roll
        Hall of Fame in 1986, told MSNBC on Monday that the Godfather of Soul
        also was a parent to hip-hop. "He was an innovator, he was an
        emancipator, he was an originator," Richard said. "Rap music, all
        that stuff came from James Brown."

        Funk and beat-spiked R&B also trace back to Brown. Prince's official
        website was silent Monday — instead of the usual page and posting,
        there was only a black screen with a message in purple: "In Restful
        Peace, James Brown."

        Brown has been parodied for his one-of-a-kind, difficult-to-decipher
        vocal style (Eddie Murphy, for instance, memorably spoofed his music
        hero on "Saturday Night Live" for his penchant for staccato
        gibberish). That didn't mean Brown didn't have plenty to say — just
        the opposite. In 1968, he created a lighting-rod anthem that helped
        change the American lexicon.

        "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)" was a message of defiance and
        celebration, and Brown often said that, in his view, it pushed the
        nation's African American community to fully turn away from "Negro"
        as a self-identifier.

        In early 1969, a Look magazine cover posed the question: "Is he the
        most important black man in America?" The accompanying article
        detailed Brown's business empire, his populist ideals and cultural
        resonance, and declared him to be "the black Horatio Alger."

        Powers hailed him for being too restless to merely use his stardom to
        sell records. "Brown's hugely resonant personality, black and proud,
        helped inspire the civil rights movement and defined the image of the
        powerful soul brother," she said. "Pop endlessly recycles sounds and
        personality, but this is one person who cannot be superseded or
        replaced."

        But as Brown's music and persona became more political, he lost some
        of his audience. He also said that he was viewed with fear and anger
        by some of the American establishment, which he said led to tax
        investigations and harassment in the 1970s. He also endured the death
        of his son, Teddy, in a car crash in 1973. The 1970s ended with more
        financial problems, accusations regarding a payola scandal and the
        awkward 1979 stab for a new audience with "The Original Disco Man,"
        which performed miserably.

        The 1980s and the ascent of hip-hop brought Brown back some measure
        of attention. "I Know You Got Soul" by Eric B. and Rakim was one of
        the first of a flood of rap classics that culled samples from Brown's
        vintage vinyl. Brown also poked fun at himself in 1980 with a well-
        received role as an over-the-top preacher in the hit comedy film "The
        Blues Brothers."

        In January 1986, Brown parlayed another film job into a hit record.
        The anthem "Living in America," the theme from the movie "Rocky IV,"
        hit No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a curious contribution
        to the swell of 1980s patriotic pop culture. It was Brown's biggest
        single since "I Got You (I Feel Good)" went to No. 3 in 1965.



        Legal problems

        Two years later, the wild ride of Brown took another grim turn. In
        September 1988, Brown, who was brandishing a shotgun, charged into an
        insurance seminar in Augusta, which led to a police pursuit. There
        had been a flurry of other incidents in the previous months,
        including charges of assault on a police officer, a weapons violation
        and possession of the drug PCP.

        The spree led to a six-year prison sentence, which met with a stir of
        protest that it was too severe and that the circumstances of his
        offenses had been exaggerated. Brown left prison on parole on Feb.
        27, 1991, but there would be more legal problems, and financial
        issues would continue past his 70th birthday. The personal turbulence
        was juxtaposed with public ovations, such the Grammy Lifetime
        Achievement Award in 1992 and the Kennedy Centers Honors in 2003.

        Brown, through it all, continued to perform. He was scheduled to take
        the stage Wednesday in Connecticut and carry on with a road run
        through the states, Canada and Europe through next summer. The Rev.
        Jesse Jackson said Monday that it was fitting that the ultimate
        showman took his final curtain call against a holiday backdrop of
        lights and music.

        "He was dramatic to the end, dying on Christmas Day," Jackson
        said. "He'll be all over the news all over the world today. He would
        have it no other way."

        Memorial service arrangements were pending Monday. In Los Angeles, a
        candlelight vigil is scheduled at 5 p.m. today at Leimert Park at
        3415 W. 43rd St.


        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
        ----------
        geoff.boucher@...

        *

        (INFOBOX BELOW)

        James Brown's hits

        James Brown had dozens of hits over his decades-long career. Here is
        a smattering of his seminal, career-defining songs:



        1956: "Please, Please, Please" — This begging ballad about a man
        trying to keep his woman took on a raw, sensual tone as Brown growled
        and yelped through the burning track.

        1961: "Bewildered" — Brown's she-done-me-wrong classic. He shrieks
        and shouts passionately, "bewildered" by the actions of his now-
        former woman.

        1962: "Night Train" — One of the first songs to feature the tight,
        jumping horn section that would become a cornerstone of most of his
        major hits. Brown's rough-edged voice shouts out cities nationwide on
        the "Night Train" route.

        1965: "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag (Part I)" — Another classic dance
        track about — what else — dancing.

        1965: "I Got You (I Feel Good)" — Perhaps Brown's most famous tune,
        and one of the all-time greatest songs in rock's canon. A buoyant,
        joyful jam that is an instant party starter. If you've never heard
        this, you've never heard music.

        1966: "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" — Though the title may suggest
        a chauvinistic ode, this passionate, downbeat track really pays
        homage to a man's eternal need for a woman by his side.

        1967: "Cold Sweat (Part I)" — A smoking, sultry mid-tempo jam that
        features Brown singing about a woman who makes him weak-kneed. It was
        sampled by dozens, perhaps hundreds of '80s rap songs.

        1968: "Say it Loud — I'm Black and I'm Proud (Part 1)" — Released at
        the height of the civil rights movement, this anthem boldly asserted
        pride in being black at a time when African Americans were still
        fighting for basic rights.

        1970: "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine (Part 1)" — Despite
        its somewhat risque title, this frenetic groove is more of a call to
        move your feet. Perhaps Brown's second most-famous song, its
        signature is its slamming rhythm section.

        1971: "Make It Funky (Part 1)" — This could be the theme song of
        Brown's entire career. It begins with Brown saying what would become
        his motto: "[Whatever] I play, it's got to be funky!"

        1974: "Papa Don't Take No Mess (Part I)": Brown's amazing, funky
        tribute to a hard-nosed, stern dad.

        1974: "The Payback (Part I)": The ultimate revenge song, this song
        sounded as if it would fit right in with many of the blaxploitation
        soundtracks of the day with its blaring horns and rumbling bass
        lines.

        1976: "Get Up Offa That Thing": A killer bass instead of horns is the
        real glue of this James Brown classic dance groove.

        1985: "Living in America" — This rousing patriotic song from the
        fourth installment of the "Rocky" movie franchise reestablished Brown
        as a hit-maker in his fifth decade.

        1988: "Static, Pts. 1 & 2" (with Full Force) — As Brown's music was
        being sampled right and left by rappers, Brown showed hip-hop heads
        how it should be done with this sizzling collaboration.

        =======

        Say it loud: He gave music some new moves
        By Robert Hilburn, Special to The Times
        http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-me-
        hilburn26dec26,1,5824999.story


        FOR all the impact of such towering figures as Ray Charles, Sam Cooke
        and Marvin Gaye, no one influenced black music more than James Brown
        because no one mirrored black culture more than the man behind such
        hits as "Please, Please, Please," "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "I
        Got You (I Feel Good)."

        You hear his percolating style in Prince's funky guitar licks, see
        his spectacular physicality in Michael Jackson's dance steps and feel
        his spirit and self-affirmation in every explosive hip-hop record.

        Long before he was showered with celebrated (and eminently fitting)
        titles such as "the Godfather of Soul" and "the Hardest-Working Man
        in Show Business," Brown was briefly thought of by some as the black
        Elvis, which was mostly silly — except in one profound way.

        If Presley was the artist most often cited by leading white musicians
        as an influence — and I found that to be true in the '60s and '70s —
        Brown was the name I most often heard when asking African American
        musicians about who inspired them.

        Brown's influence isn't limited to black artists by any means. One of
        the most illuminating pop moments ever captured by a camera was when
        a young Mick Jagger stood in the wings, mesmerized, watching Brown's
        seductive moves during the '60s concert film "The T.A.M.I. Show," and
        we all know how Jagger eventually built his stage performance around
        those moves.

        If anything, Brown's impact on modern pop music is underrated, partly
        because he did most of his defining work on secondary record labels
        that didn't have massive publicity machines and he never really
        embraced the mainstream the way, say, Ray Charles did. Yet, you could
        build a case that Brown was also the "Godfather of Disco,"
        the "Godfather of Rap" and the "Godfather of Funk" because his
        electrifying beats powered so many genres.

        Like Presley, the Southern-bred musician touched a sociological nerve
        that went far beyond normal pop stardom.

        Though the lyrics of Brown's hits were often little more than catchy
        phrases, the best lines were right in step with the rise of black
        pride in this country, and they are why he was such a powerful,
        beloved figure during the civil rights era.

        "Say It Loud — I'm Black and I'm Proud," he screamed on a record,
        released only five months after the assassination of the Rev. Martin
        Luther King Jr., that channeled the righteousness of an oppressed
        people into a three-minute declaration of independence that topped
        the R&B charts for weeks.

        Though millions of pop and rock fans also thrilled to Brown's music
        in the '60s and '70s, he wasn't embraced by mainstream radio nearly
        as strongly as by R&B stations, which is why he had 60 top 10 R&B
        hits (more than any other artist) but fewer than a dozen top 10 pop
        hits (which wasn't enough to place him in the top 25 among artists).

        Given the immense appeal of his records and style, it's hard now to
        understand his relatively limited chart success, but the noteworthy
        thing about Brown's music is it is so enduring. By the mid-'80s,
        other artists, especially the Beatles and Bob Dylan, were cited by
        white musicians as their chief inspiration, but Brown remained the
        influence most mentioned by black musicians (along with a sizable
        number of white musicians).

        Lots of early R&B stars made records with an eye toward the pop
        mainstream, especially the lucrative teenage market, but Brown, in
        the tradition of bluesman John Lee Hooker, never tempered his blues-
        R&B-gospel merger, and his themes were mostly adult: "Get Up (I Feel
        Like Being A) Sex Machine," "It's a Man's Man's Man's World"
        and "Cold Sweat."

        Brown didn't sing as much as he growled, as if he were trying to
        match the intensity that grew out of his essential funk brew, powered
        by guitars, horns, bass and drums.

        He wasn't an easy interview; he didn't seem interested in talking
        about himself (his background was troubled, and he had more than his
        share of court appearances) or his music. Thus, he ended up telling
        the same stories over and over.

        Part of the problem was that Brown found it frustrating to try to
        explain his true passion — the elements of his music — just as a
        great painter finds it difficult to tell us why he sees things in a
        certain way. Writers too had a hard time capturing in words the magic
        of Brown's instrumental sound.

        In the end, Brown seemed comfortable only in the studio and,
        especially, on stage. At his prime, he moved with such speed and
        grace that it took your breath away. Even listening to his superb
        live albums — starting with 1962's "Live at the Apollo" — you feel
        the heat of his scorching performance.

        The easiest way to explain Brown's genius to someone is simply to
        play one of his best records.

        In nominating the 500 greatest singles ever in a 1989 book, rock
        critic Dave Marsh listed "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" at No. 3,
        declaring that the only way the single could be "more bone-rattling
        was if Brown himself leaped from your speakers, grabbed you tight by
        the shoulders and danced you around the room, all the while screaming
        straight into your face." He added, "No record before 'Papa's'
        sounded anything like it. No record since — certainly no dance
        record — has been unmarked by it."

        Still, my favorite James Brown record is probably "I Got You (I Feel
        Good)," which was the follow-up to "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." It
        was a record of supreme optimism and cheer. I've even got a foot-high
        James Brown bobblehead in my den, and it screams "I Feel Good" when
        you push a button.

        I've pushed it dozens of times when friends were over, and every time
        it brought smiles. It's just one sign that Brown's music remains
        powerful. For another sign, just turn on the radio. Half the music
        you hear, from Kanye West and Jay Z to Justin Timberlake and the Red
        Hot Chili Peppers, is in part a testimony to that power.

        At some point today, I'll just push the button on the bobblehead
        doll, or put on one of Brown's CDs. There's no way that music won't
        still make you feel alive. What a wonderful legacy for any artist.

        ======

        James Brown's Body to Lie at Apollo
        By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer
        http://www.latimes.com/news/sns-ap-james-brown-funeral,1,2112336.story


        NEW YORK -- The body of soul singer James Brown will be returned
        Thursday to the site of his debut -- the legendary Apollo Theater in
        Harlem -- so the public that saw and heard him leave a lasting
        impression on music can see him one last time, the Rev. Al Sharpton
        said Tuesday.

        Brown's body will rest on the stage of the Apollo from 1 p.m. to 8
        p.m., and thousands of people will be permitted one more look at a
        man who steered modern music toward the rhythm-and-blues, funk, hip-
        hop, disco and rap beats popular today, said Sharpton, a close friend
        of Brown for decades.

        "It would almost be unthinkable for a man who lived such a
        sensational life to go away quietly," Sharpton told The Associated
        Press in an interview from Georgia, where he was making funeral
        arrangements with Brown's children.

        Sharpton said he and the children viewed Brown's body Tuesday.

        "I looked at his body. I was walking in half disbelief and sadness
        but proud," he said. "I couldn't even begin to describe it, to walk
        around his house and he not be there."

        Sharpton said the public Apollo viewing will be followed by a private
        ceremony Friday in Brown's hometown, Augusta, Ga., and another public
        ceremony, officiated by Sharpton, a day later at the James Brown
        Arena there.

        "His greatest thrill was always the lines around the Apollo Theater,"
        Sharpton said of the 125th Street landmark. "I felt that James Brown
        in all the years we talked would have wanted one last opportunity to
        let the people say goodbye to him and he to the people."

        Brown, known as the Godfather of Soul, died of congestive heart
        failure on Christmas morning in Atlanta at age 73. He had been
        scheduled to perform on New Year's Eve in Manhattan at B.B. King's
        blues club.

        Sharpton said he and Brown's children talked Tuesday about the moment
        after the Rev. Martin Luther King's assassination when Brown stepped
        to a microphone and told gathering crowds of angry people to go home.

        "And they went home," Sharpton said. "For them to riot for a man who
        lived a life of peace would send the wrong message. He always said he
        was surprised and humbled that he had that influence."

        Sharpton said Brown was "always very sensitive as to how people could
        be remembered."

        The Apollo began recruiting and showcasing talent in 1934. Early acts
        included "Pigmeat" Markham and Jackie "Moms" Mabley. Before long,
        Lena Horne, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin and Brown
        were making their debuts. Audiences cheered the likes of Ella
        Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Michael Jackson, Fats Waller, Fats
        Domino, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier,
        Sammy Davis Jr. and Nina Simone. Comedians such as Redd Foxx and
        Richard Pryor performed, too.

        Sharpton said he had been like a son to Brown since they met in 1973,
        introduced by Brown's son, Teddy, shortly before the teenager died in
        a car crash.

        He said the son had wanted to encourage his father's support for
        Sharpton's youth organization, leading Brown to begin a lifelong
        commitment to Sharpton's civil-rights projects.

        "I became the son he lost," Sharpton said.

        Sharpton said Brown always knew his place in history.

        "He used to tell me, `There are two American originals, Elvis and
        me,'" Sharpton said. "`Elvis is gone, and I've got to carry on.'"

        Brown's agent, Frank Copsidas, said family members have requested
        that in lieu of flowers, contribution be made to the James Brown
        Music Education Foundation, which provides scholarships for aspiring
        musicians. The address is James Brown Music Education Foundation c/o
        Intrigue Music, 601 W. 26th St., Suite 1080, New York, N.Y. 10001.


        ======


        Sharpton: Brown changed the world and a young preacher forever
        From Associated Press
        http://www.latimes.com/news/la-122506sharpton-brown,1,6459293.story


        NEW YORK -- The Rev. Al Sharpton remembers spotting his mentor, James
        Brown, for the first time backstage just before an early 1970s
        concert. Brown, in front of a mirror combing his spiked hair, urged
        the impressionable teenager to aim high.

        Brown advised Sharpton not to "go for little things -- go for the
        whole hog." Then Brown, grabbing a microphone, kept talking right up
        to when he put the microphone to his lips and sang.

        The startled Sharpton realized he had followed his American idol on
        stage.

        "I didn't know what to do so I started dancing," Sharpton recalled
        Monday in an interview. Later, he sobbed as he spoke at a news
        conference, shortly before leaving for Georgia to see Brown's
        daughters and offer help planning the funeral.

        After that fateful concert in Newark, N.J., Brown supported
        Sharpton's fledgling youth group and brought him along so often on
        concerts that people thought Sharpton was Brown's road manager.

        The tight bond developed in part because Brown's teenage son, an
        aspiring lawyer who joined Sharpton's youth group and arranged the
        first meeting between Sharpton and Brown, died soon afterward.

        Their father-and-son relationship continued to the end when Sharpton
        learned of Brown's death in a 3 a.m. Christmas call from Brown's
        manager. The manager told Sharpton he and Brown were talking on the
        phone at 1:45 a.m. about old times when Brown took two breaths "and
        went out."

        Sharpton called the death "the heaviest loss I've ever endured," and
        said he hopes Brown gets acknowledged in death for the full effect he
        had on music, social trends and blacks.

        "I don't think he ever got his credit because people saw him just as
        the show man and not the music innovator and the social innovator
        that he was," Sharpton said. "He changed the perception of regular
        blacks. He wasn't tall, light skinned. He wasn't polished. He was us.
        It meant the rest of us could make it."

        Sharpton called Brown "a person of epic proportions" and said his
        influence on music from soul to hip-hop to rap and beyond was as
        great as "what Bach was to classical music." His accomplishments were
        even more impressive because Brown, Sharpton said, never took a music
        or vocal lesson and never wrote music, preferring to gather musicians
        around and hum out a beat.

        "This is a guy who literally changed the music industry," Sharpton
        said. "He put everybody on a different beat, a different style of
        music. He pioneered it."

        Sharpton said Brown also will be remembered for his effect on the
        country's social fiber.

        "It was James Brown that made it fashionable to stop calling blacks
        Negro," he said. "Even though he had his legal difficulties, no one
        stopped giving him respect."

        Throughout their relationship, Sharpton said Brown kept coaching him,
        including in his last phone call a week ago when the man Sharpton
        said "made soul music a world music" spoke of the early days as well
        as a recent police shooting that left an unarmed man dead on his
        wedding day.

        During their final conversation, Brown told Sharpton that life in
        America for blacks had improved and worsened in some ways during his
        lifetime and he hoped the tradition of fighting injustice with love
        rather than violence continued.

        "He was also disappointed that a lot of the artists had lowered their
        standards," Sharpton said. "He didn't like the profanity, calling
        people niggers in records and calling women whores and bitches."

        Sharpton said his friend cherished his honors, even if they missed
        the full impact of his achievements, and he was never bitter.

        "I think he accepted some never get their due until after they're
        dead," he said.

        Every day, Sharpton delivers on a promise he made to Brown a couple
        of decades ago when he asked the civil rights activist "to straighten
        your hair like mine so when people see you they think you're my son."

        Brown often called Sharpton, urging: "I want you to keep it that way
        until I die."

        Sharpton said he will never give up the look.

        "That's my bond with James Brown."

        ===========

        Brown's Partner: Locked Out of Home
        By HARRY R. WEBER, Associated Press Writer
        http://www.latimes.com/news/sns-ap-james-brown-widow,1,3717325.story


        ATLANTA -- James Brown's lawyer says the late singer and his partner
        weren't legally married and that she was locked out of his South
        Carolina home for estate legal reasons. The partner, one of Brown's
        backup singers, says the couple was married and she can prove it.

        The back and forth continued for most of Tuesday, as Tomi Rae Hynie,
        Brown's partner and the mother of his 5-year-old son, camped out at
        an Augusta hotel with no change of clothes and no money.

        "It's not a reflection on her as an individual," lawyer Buddy Dallas
        told The Associated Press on Tuesday of the decision to bar Hynie
        from Brown's home in Beech Island, S.C. "I have not even been in the
        house, nor will I until appropriate protocol is followed."

        Hynie was already married to a Texas man in 2001 when she married
        Brown, thus making her marriage to the "Godfather of Soul" null,
        Dallas said. He said Hynie later annulled the previous marriage, but
        she and Brown never remarried.

        "I suppose it would mean she was, from time to time, a guest in Mr.
        Brown's home," Dallas said.

        Brown, 73, died at an Atlanta hospital Monday. After his death,
        Hynie, 36, found the gates to the singer's home padlocked and said
        she was denied access.

        Hynie argued that she has a legal right to live in the home with the
        couple's 5-year-old son. "This is my home," she told a reporter
        outside the house. "I don't have any money. I don't have anywhere to
        go."

        In a phone interview with The Associated Press from an Augusta hotel
        Tuesday, Hynie said she had documentation to prove she was legally
        married to Brown.

        Hynie said the couple had planned to renew their vows but not
        remarry. She indicated that while annulment papers relating to her
        previous marriage initially may not have been filed properly, a judge
        had told her she was legally married to Brown.

        "I just want this resolved," Hynie said.

        Dallas said legal formalities needed to be followed, adding that
        Brown's estate was left in trust for his children. He declined to
        elaborate on Brown's final instructions.

        "Ms. Hynie has a home a few blocks away from Mr. Brown's home where
        she resides periodically when she is not with Mr. Brown," Dallas
        said. "She is not without housing or home."

        Dallas said Brown and Hynie hadn't seen each other for several weeks
        before his death.

        Hynie said Brown had sent her to California for a few weeks to relax
        on the beach after a recent concert tour.

        "I was taking antidepressants," she said. "My job, marriage was
        difficult. So he sent me to the beach. He paid $24,000 for me to go."

        "He was a difficult man to live with, but he was a great man," she
        said. "I was the only one who could handle James."

        Hynie said she believes Brown's representatives were trying to
        discredit her so that his estate wouldn't have to be shared with her.
        She acknowledged that the bulk of the estate was left to Brown's
        children, but said Brown had told her she could live in his home with
        their child as long as she wanted.

        "That was James Brown's wishes," Hynie said as she broke down in
        tears.

        Hynie and Brown had a sometimes tumultuous relationship. Brown
        pleaded guilty in 2004 to a domestic violence charge stemming from an
        argument with Hynie and paid a $1,087 fine. He was accused of pushing
        Hynie to the floor at the home and threatening to kill her.

        Brown is survived by at least four children, said his agent, Frank
        Copsidas.
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