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James Brown, 1986 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee

James Brown (vocals, keyboards; born May 5, 1933, died December 25, 2006) had more honorifics attached to his name than any other performer in music history. He was variously tagged “Soul Brother Number One,” “the Godfather of Soul,” “the Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” “Mr. Dynamite,” and even “the Original Disco Man.” This much is certain: what became known as soul music in the 1960s, funk music in the 1970s, and rap music in the 1980s is directly attributable to James Brown. His transformation of gospel fervor into the taut, explosive intensity of rhythm & blues, combined with precision choreography and dynamic showmanship, served to define the directions black music would take from the release of his first R&B hit ("Please Please Please") in 1956 to the present day.

Books

All our books on James Brown can be found here.

Interview with author R.J. Smith on Rock Book Show

Author RJ Smith talks to Rock Book Show about his new biography of James Brown The One: The Life and Music of James Brown. Here, they talk about Brown and Little Richard, Brown's hair pact with Al Sharpton, and what Brown's legacy will be.

Audio

All our audio on James Brown can be found here.

Interview with R.J. Smith on Bullseye

R.J. Smith is a former senior editor at Los Angeles Magazine and a music journalist who's written for the Village Voice and Spin. For his latest project, he took on the task of profiling the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Smith's extensive biography, called The One: The Life and Music of James Brown follows the musician from his childhood, raised in a whorehouse, wearing burlap sack underwear, to stardom, and then to reinvention. Download or listen here

Video

All our video on James Brown can be found here.

2012 Hall of Fame Inductee Bobby Bennett of the Famous Flames

The Famous Flames  provided vocals and choreography for James Brown from their formation in 1953 until their departure in 1968. The Famous Flames were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. 

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