the one

“James Brown backup singer Marva Whitney discovered that the separation of church and funk was a distinction of tapping from the toe or heel, respectively. “Because tapping from the heel moves your ass” observes RJ Smith. The heel also required a frequent change of socks. One drummer recalls hearing the aquatic squoosh of the JB’s’ footsteps when the band walked offstage every night. A good foot was a sweaty foot. According to the author, Cold Sweatwas “the first hit song about perspiration. […] Nobody had ever thought to sing about an uncomfortable ferment of the body caused by the nearness of other-flesh.” A press release pinpoints how many freshly laundered shirts James Brown would burn through in a single year, while The Onedetermines the first time he cried “Give the drummer some” (May 1967, Cincinnati).” What are you doing, Dave? You’ve just convinced me to purchase RJ Smith’s The one: the life and music of James Brown(Gotham / Penguin 2012-03-15, ISBN 9781592406579)! “Back home, as the Nixon administration pushed its dubious Soul Initiative to rally African American support, Nixon backer James Brown received letters from black soldiers lamenting the absence of soul music on Armed Forces Radio. An owner of several stations himself (good for airplay), the Godfather rectified the situation by bringing the JB’s to Vietnam for a USO tour. “We didn’t do like Bob Hopehe’d say. “We went back there where the lizards wore guns.” While James Brown did the cape act to a backdrop of machine gun patter, Bob Young, future mayor of Augusta, Georgia, was flying a helicopter with the words Mother Popcornscrawled on his helmet. (In the James Brown popcornography, mother was an honorific for a large rear end.) According to Smith, the mere act of federal marshall James Palmer keeping drummer Clyde Stubblefield out of the draft and seated in the JB’s “counts as one of the great unsung patriotic acts of the era”.”
http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7828510/a-review-rj-smith-biography-james-brown
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/08/books/the-one-james-brown-biography-by-r-j-smith.html
http://articles.boston.com/2012-03-16/arts/31195677_1_james-brown-life-and-music-black-power
http://www.themillions.com/2012/04/becoming-james-brown-on-rj-smiths-the-one.html
http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9781592406579,00.html
http://soul-sides.com/2012/08/a-chat-with-rj-smith-author-of-the-one/
http://rockcriticsarchives.com/interviews/rjsmith/rjsmith.html
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=42403
http://www.rjsmiththeone.com/

 

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