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December 25, 2006



A towering giant of American music. The future is worse than the past! And who here among us can lay claim to owning his very first vinyl album on King Records ("Please, Please, Please" 1959)? I have literally dozens of his Lps and 45s, many of which I spun constantly on FMU 1978-1985. Lots of his classic 60s-70s hits were recorded at the old Starday studio on Dickerson Road and Due West in Madison TN, right around the corner from where I grew up. I also saw him play the Lone Star Cafe in NYC mid-80s with Frank Balesteri. Santa Claus goes straight to the ghetto. Rest deep, Gah-fatha. Shocked and stunned R we. OW!

Ray Brazen

Jeez. On any other morning but Christmas morning, this would have hurt a bit less than it does now. And here I was thinking I was having the perfect holiday.

I'll never forget the day I first heard "The Payback" coming out of someone's radio at the tender age of 8. I thought, "Oh man, I've never heard anything like this before." Went out, had my mom get it for me for Christmas, still have the same copy. Walgreen's had a rack of 25-cent singles at the time and a lot of James in it. I bought every one they had, including an extremely rare copy of "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothin'" on the King label which I was later to learn had obscure psych-legends Grodeck Whipperjenny as the backing band and was allegedly withdrawn shortly after its release. Think I'm gonna give it a spin now...

James, you were the best. Rest in Peace, Godfather.

bobby byrdmaniax

CNN had posted this Sunday night, 10:30 after having been admitted to hospital:

"The singer canceled shows this week in Waterbury, Connecticut, and Englewood, New Jersey, but is expected to be ready to perform again on Saturday at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey, Super Frank said.

Brown is scheduled to perform two shows New Year's Eve at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill followed by a stint across Canada in January.

He will also be performing a song for Anderson Cooper's New Year's Eve special on CNN."

Dang. HIT ME!!


He didn't know Karate, but he knew ca-razy.....I believe The Big Payback and Poppa's Got A Brand New Bag are permanently etched inside my cranial tissues....."Stevie Wonder, take a look at those
cakes!" The Funkfather he was......

Click me to see...

...debut album cover jpg.



Listener Kliph Nesteroff

The greatest. Love the fact that unlike so many soul, jazz, or blues artists he lived a long life. I love it when my soul singers live long enough to be crazy (Chuck Berry and Little Richard among them). To the Godfather!


Well, "Funky Christmas" will never be the same. But, of course, we must all listen to it now, in his honor.

I just take comfort believing that somewhere, he's bringing the funk with God now.

Jonathan Steinke

James Brown never lost his electricity. He left us the way he wanted to leave and wished all of us who ever heard one of his songs or saw him perform to leave--SUPERBAD.

Take 'em to the bridge, Godfatha!!

Neal Jung

Where's that confounded bridge??


Just yesterday, my kid opened the 4-disc Cowboy Bepop CD set we got her. As I absorbed the news that JB was gone, the family stereo was blaring out this Japanese jazz-funk that, franky, was pretty damn good. I was so impressed that it took a little bit for me to put two and two together and point out that not a note of it would exist had there been no James Brown. Let's face it; our loss is incalculable.

DJ CrabCake

I saw James Brown on New Years Eve 2005 and I'm still mesmerized by that show. Having seen the likes of Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Bo Diddley well past their prime I wasn't exactly sure what to expect but The Godfather delivered the funk with boundless energy and soul. Counting down to midnight with James Brown then ringing in the new year in a funky cold sweat was an experience I'll never forget. I remember walking out of that place a few hours later, stumbling onto Times Square not sure what had just happened. There was a long line of people outside apparently waiting to get into a post James Brown show. My only thought was that they had already missed the party. There was no act that could follow JB.
Not on New Years Eve. Not ever. Hearing the news of James Brown's passing early Christmas morning was extremely upsetting. He was scheduled to play New Years again in Times Square. I had thought of going again, thinking I'd find a way to get the cash for tickets.
Later that day my girlfriend calls me up and asks me what she's holding in her hands. Yep, two tickets to see James Brown on New Years Eve. She had just got them as a Christmas gift from her family. The sad day did bring back some fond memories of JB. I remember how I wore my tye dye FREE JAMES BROWN T-shirt almost everyday my senior year in high school. I also remember my high school buddy who was a huge fan of Soul music handing me James Brown's Greatest Hits at Tower Records. "The rest is up to you.", he said. I ended up buying that record even though I was more into 50s rock n roll and rockabilly at the time. I'm glad I did. Tower records is now gone and the towering figure of r&b funk and soul, the Godfather of Soul, Soul Brother Number One, the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business, has left us as well.


Great Stream. I've heard some of those songs in ages. Rest In Peace great man.


Rory Murray

Why is it that the greats like James Brown die early, but evil men like Dick Cheney not only survive, but prosper? What a shame.


Still kinda hard to believe, ain't it Bean? UNITY LOVE & HAVINFUN.


respect to the graet James Brown! i must disagree regarding greats dying early. there are plenty who live long lives. they just don't make it into Rolling Stone or PEOPLE magazines. this is wfmu after all. this is a rare occasion when a great artist has died in universal infamy and actually deserved every bit of his fame. rarer than snake tits, whose raspy sounds can be heard if you push the wfmu search engine hard enough. thank you all at wfmu!! you're the best thing on line. every other radio station can now die.


Is it too late to add kudos to Dan Mackta for broaching the near-impossible task of coming up with a single song to mark the simultaneous passings of James Brown and Jerry Ford? Horay for his 12/27/06 airing of "You Can Have Watergate But Gimme Some Bucks And I'll Be Straight".

Jim Rae

The best links and pics I have found are at http://James-Brown.US and TomiRae.Info for early Famous Flames plus a link to TomiRae personal site. She seems to have moved on with her life.


I deeply am troubled by the many artist that say they owe their success to Mr. James Brown, but none besides Michael Jackson and Rev Hammer showed up to his funeral. I'm sure we will see them peddling their new cd's on New Years Eve shows, but none could take the time to be seen at the Apollo, his private funeral, or public homecomming in Atlanta. Let's remember that..the next time they utter how important James was to them, yet, it wasn't worth the price of a plane ticket to demonstrate it in person. CNN was the only channel to show his homecoming in it's entirety. Where's the Love????? BET???? what gives...when you continue to show RAP videos on saddest day?


I am so very disappointed in the Black entertainers and celebrities who did not attend the Homegoing Services of James Brown.  It’s not only those in the music industry who owed it to him to be in attendance.  Every single Black celebrity should have been at the door of The James Brown Arena waiting to get a seat when they opened because each and every one on them owe The Godfather of soul a debt of gratitude.  Actually a whole lot…A Whole Lot of them owe him much money for unauthorized use of his music throughout the years. 
It is disgusting to me that they would not take one day not to smoke week; not to chase hoes; not to do whatever it is they do and make their was to The James Brown Arena to give The Hardest Working Man In Show Business his proper due.
Every rapper who ever sampled Mr. Brown’s music should have been lined up at the doors of the arena that bears his name to pay James Brown the proper respect he deserved at his Homegoing service.  Those who sampled his music and never gave him a damn dime should have been there fighting to get in to pay him the respect in death that they never bothered to pay him in life.  Ya’ll know who you are!
The list of those who should have been seated in The James Brown Arena in Augusta, Georgia on December 30, 2006 but weren’t is enormous.  Each of you collectively and individually will forever be so wrong for not attending the Homegoing ceremony of Mr. Please Please Please.  Without him and his music, where would you be?
Sure James Brown has been to jail but so what.  Most of the entertainers who owe so much to him have been to jail too. 
So what James Brown did drugs; Most of those entertainers who did not attend but damn sure should have attended did or do as well.  
Yes James Brown had family and monetary problems during his lifetime.  Most of the entertainers trying to walk the path he laid had or has those same exact problems right now.
I guess there is no reason for me to be upset with the Black Entertainers.  Their lack of respect for anything other than money is legendary and flaunted in the faces of their fans each and every day.
I am just so very disappointed!
Atlanta is approximately 180 miles away from the arena in Augusta, Georgia named after James Brown.  That is just a little over 2 hours by automobile. It is about 40 minutes by plane.  It is a straight shot on I-20.  No turns, just a straight road.  Atlanta is the place where so many of these Black so-called stars and entertainers reside.  Bobby Brown, Whitney Houston, T.I., Lil John, Ludacris, Bow Wow, Jermaine Dupree, User Raymond and the rest all call THE ATL their home.  They can go to the club; They can go buy weed, crack and heroin; they can go out and get arrested on some stupid mess but no way could they get into one of their many cars and drive 2 hours down the road to pay homage to The Legendary James Brown. 
Bobby Brown has been arrested his in Augusta, Georgia so I know he knows the way here.  T.I. and Bow Wow have performed in The James Brown Arena so they know the way here.
What happened Eddie Murphy?  You can make millions mocking Mr. Brown but you can’t pay your last respects to him?  I know your new girlfriend could have shown you the way here if you didn’t know it.  I am sure after living in Atlanta all those years with Babyface she knows where I-20 is.
Spike Lee wants to make a movie about Mr. James Brown’s life and Usher Raymond wants to portray Mr. Brown in this move but neither of them could find the time in their schedules to make it to The James Brown Arena in Augusta, Georgia on December 30, 2006 between 1pm and 5 pm EST.
Queen Latifah was here in Augusta, Georgia just last month filming parts of her upcoming movie.  Did she forget how to get here?
Hey King Tee…Payback’s A Mutha is ALL James Brown’s Payback.  Where were you on Saturday, December 30, 2006?
Maybe Oprah didn’t get the news that The Godfather of Soul had passed.
Where were:
Full Force
Usher Raymond
Spike Lee
Rev. Run
Russell Simmons
Kurtis Blow
Queen Latifah
Jermaine Dupree
Watch any of the people mentioned above perform and see the James Brown influence.


The black entertainers who didn't have the black pride to "bury one of their own" should be ashamed. They all managed to attend Luther Vandross's funeral. They, once more, prove that we are not unified. We cannot do anything that is not approved by Massa and Missus. Right or wrong, James Brown was one of us. We show the white world, once again, that they did a great job in keeping us apart. The field negroes and house negroes had two things in common. We were owned by the slavemaster and came on the bottom of the same boat. Say what you want about Michael, he wasn't "too" proud to show respect. God will remember that. Hell nor high water should have kept anyone of them away. I hope the rest of us of the field remember them for it.

Mrs. Tomi Rae Brown

I greatly appreciate your comments. James loved his fans more than life itself. His life was music and he dedicated it all to you. Please don't be so hard on the entertainers that did not make it. Had the funeral been handled the way he wanted, everyone would have been there. Unfortunately they did not ask the one person who knew, His wife. I wasn't even invited. God has got this, in his unchanging hands and he will give us our day soon. When we get the bad guy's and we will. We will put him in the ground where he wanted to be, Surrounded by all of the people he truly loved, You. Please pray for him, So he can soon rest. I will not give up until what was done in the dark comes to the light. If the homegoing was as he wished they all would have attended. Always, Ms. Brown.

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