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Legendary musician James Brown smiles in this 1971 black and white photo

James Brown

As a Guest

4 segments

Remembering Singer James Brown

The "Godfather of Soul" passed away on December 25, 2006. Brown is considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, blending gospel, rhythm and blues, and funk. His many hits include "Get Up Offa That Thing," "Funky President," "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," "Super Bad," and "I Got You." The self-proclaimed "Hardest Working Man in Show Business" received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award and was one of the first musicians inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


As a Topic

3 segments

Funk Idol Bootsy Collins

Collins got his start with James Brown, where he "defined the finger-popping funk bass style" (Rolling Stone). He went on to work with George Clinton as part of the Parliment-Funkadelic tribe, before forming Bootsy's Rubber Band. On stage, he created alter egos, including Bootzilla, Boot-Tron, and King of the Geepies. He's put out more than 30 albums, and has just released "Blasters of the Universe," with a new band.


The Godfather of Soul's Sax Player

Maceo Parker was a member of James Brown's horn section. Parker was hired along with his brother, but soon made a name for himself. His new album is a straightforward jazz record, called Roots Revisited.


James Brown's Ghostwriter Bruce Tucker

Tucker wrote Brown's memoir, The Godfather of Soul, which was recently reprinted. He joins Fresh Air to talk about Brown's rise as a soul singer, the evolution of his stage persona, and his recent conviction and imprisonment, a punishment which Tucker believes is too severe based on the charges.

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