James Brown Funeral Arrangements Finalized, Public Viewings in NYC and Augusta
In the documentary film Bittersweet Motel, Phish jokingly characterized a particular performance as almost as funky as James Brown on his worst night. Indeed, Brown, who passed away on Christmas day, in his native Georgia looms large and a master showman and progenitor of funk. Physicians diagnosed Soul Brother Number One with pneumonia just few days ago.
Brown, had been recording and performing for nearly a decade when his 1963 Live at the Apollo release cemented his reputation as a vital if occasionally volatile R&B artist. His hard-edged jazz-fueled soul eventually became the blueprint for funk, defined as his signature sound in the 1970s. Browns appeal crossed demographics and traditional genres as songs such as Papas Got A Brand New Bag, I Got You (I Feel Good), Cold Sweat (Part 1) and Get On the Good Foot garnered significant airplay in multiple formats. The ‘Godfather of Soul,’ who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with its inaugural class, performed with a flair and panache that earned him the respect of artists and audiences alike, while he toured with such top notch sidemen as: Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, Clyde Stubblefield, Jabo Starks, and Bootsy Collins.
Brown remained an feisty individualist throughout his personal and professional life. He preferred to be addressed as Mr. Brown and in a moment that appears on the film 270 Miles From Graceland, he castigates Relix/Jambands.com reporter Jeff Waful, who had referred to him as James during a press conference.
One of Browns other sobriquets was the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business, so it is not surprising that from his hospital bed, he had pledged to perform as scheduled in New York Citys Times Square on New Years Eve.
Browns estate has now announced the details regarding his funeral. On Thursday, Browns body will lie in state at New York Citys Apollo Theater so that the public may pay respects. Then on Saturday, it will be moved to the James Brown Arena in Augusta, for a 1 PM public service and viewing. Brown will be buried later that same day.