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The Godfather of Soul, Revisited

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Biographer RJ Smith explores the complicated but fascinating life of James Brown in a new book called “The One.” He joins guest host Christian McBride and bassist Fred Thomas, who added oomph to Brown’s band, for a look back at the "Godfather of Soul."

Watch the video below of James Brown performing on the TAMI Show (Teen Age Music International) at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in California, 1964.


RJ Smith and Fred Thomas

Hosted by:

Christian McBride

Comments [10]

Mireille Liong from Brooklyn, NY

You guys have way too much fun in the studio. I can hardly work.

Mar. 15 2012 02:54 PM

sorry JB, but "living in america" reminds me of "ghost busters". it truly is, devoid of funk. wish you guys had played some more of the great stuff.

Mar. 15 2012 02:40 PM
Kazuko from New York

Christian McBride gives an in-depth interview that bring together American history, culture, and insight.
Would you discuss James Brown performing w/ 2 drummers? I used to watch James Brown on SoulTrain where he had 2 drummers. I also saw him at the Apollo, where everyone breathed in an organic humanistic empowerment. It would last a lifetime.

Mar. 15 2012 02:37 PM
Vanessa Alleyne from Montclair

James Brown...a true original. What I loved most --- his shows -- and his life --- epitomized the original - and the best -- in Black Opera... the spit polish shined shoes, the glides across the stage, the Fabulous music, the entourage, the fines for band infractions --- and of course, that funky, funky beat--- all of it and more made him larger than life. Of the more than 50 live concerts I've seen in my life, his was by far the best.

And of course, his death was just as dramatic as his life. Who else could travel in a gold coffin across the US for wakes and remembrances, MONTHS after his demise? High drama, to be sure. The one and only. Rest in peace, Mr. Brown.

Mar. 15 2012 02:33 PM

did JB treat white musicians, different from black players ? and how did white and black cats, interact among themselves ?

Mar. 15 2012 02:31 PM
Shina from Brooklyn

Samples Samples Samples! Not just the Funky Drummer, but the whole catalog! Not just the godfather of soul, but Drum and bass, Jungle, IDM, Electronica Hip hop, ect ect!

Mar. 15 2012 02:25 PM

my way discovery of JB was indirect. i first heard mongo santamaria's version of "cold sweat", back in the late 60's. and christian, you do sound like playthell benjamin,are you related ?

Mar. 15 2012 02:25 PM
Tim McCorry from Not far from Asbury Park

Godfather of Soul meets Architect of Rock and Roll!
Doesn't get any better!
Thanks for a great show!
ps. yes, I am an architect (till I get home, then I write music)

Mar. 15 2012 02:24 PM
Maya from NYC

What made JB, JB are his grunts, yelps and screams.

Mar. 15 2012 02:24 PM
Joe from New York

"Get on the Good Foot" is interesting because it is firmly in two keys at once - the bass and guitar chords in G, and the horns and single-note guitar in D minor.

Mar. 15 2012 02:11 PM

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