(photo swiped from Funky16Corners)
Can we please have a moment of silence . . .
For Soul Music . . .
On Christmas Day, soul music was officially ethered with the passing of the Godfather of Soul James Joseph Brown, Jr. The legendary crooner was hospitalized with pneumonia on Sunday at Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, Ga., and died of heart failure early Monday morning (Christmas).
When it comes to musical and cultural icons, no one compares to James Brown. His music crossed all genres including jazz and classical. James also perfected the "rhythm," that signature groove that has been the soundbed of R&B, soul, funk and rap music to this very day. James Brown will also go down in history as the most sampled artist ever in the music biz. Culturally, James' music was the soundtrack for the civil rights movement during the '60s and '70s stressing black individualism with "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud." For his efforts, he earned three Grammys including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992. James is also a proud inductee of both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters Hall of Fames.
In the end, James Brown was simply a musical genius.
Extra Reading/Listening Material:
Read historian/journalist Larry Grogan's musical and cultural tribute to James Brown, as well as listen to "Get On The Good Foot" and "Butter Your Popcorn."
Also, watch one of my favorite James Brown performance of "There Was a Time." Feel the rhythmic power of "the groove" and witness James doing the Camel, the Boo-ga-loo and the "James Brown" dance steps.
And Chicago Sun-Times columnist David Hoekstra offers a wonderful story about James Brown and his cape man Danny Ray -- the guy who threw the velvet cape over James's shoulders before his finished his shows.
Watch James Brown perform "Cold Sweat" on Soul Train.
R.I.P. -- Rest In (Soul) Power, James . . .
You will be sorely missed.