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James Brown revisited

    I needed some new music for my drive down to dad’s
so I made some cds. One of them is a James Brown mix, and OMG is it
amazing. I think it’s criminal how little JB we hear. He was THE black
sound all through the 60’s and still has an amazing influence today. I
could argue that he has more influence with today’s popular music than
the Beatles do.
    The cd starts off with some of his early crooning days. Try Me, Please Please Please, I lost Someone
etc. IMO he’s as good, if not better than other groups in that genre
like the Platters and certainly better than anything motown put out (I
don’t think that James was on Motown, anyone know this for sure?). Of
course what we all remember him for is the funk. Gawd, what amazing
music, Dr. Dre would be put to shame by the grooves put down by JB’s
band.
    My uncle was involved in the music scene and the
business all through the late 60’s and early 70’s. I once asked him why
we hear so little of JB. His theory was that at the time, JB’s music
was the sound of the black experience. To white folks, even
“progressive” ones, his music brought up associations with poverty,
injustice, and general suckitude. He’s pretty sure that to this day,
people of that generation still have those attitudes. I can’t help but
think that today’s teens and twenty somethings would be quite a bit
more open to his music. They would be that is if they ever heard
anything other than I Feel Good and Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag
(neither of which is on the mix cd thank you very much). Not really
sure why those are the only two songs ever played despite his amazing
run on the R&B charts. If anyone is interested, I’d be happy to
send you a copy…

Isaac

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