Say It Loud!: My Memories of James Brown, Soul Brother No. 1by Don Rhodes
When Don Rhodes took his seat not far behind Michael Jackson at the funeral of the “Godfather of Soul” on December 30, 2006, it marked the close of a forty-year friendship. In Say It Loud! Rhodes pays tribute to James Brown and his storied career, with a close and comprehensive look at the life of the legendary singer at his home in Augusta, Georgia,
When Don Rhodes took his seat not far behind Michael Jackson at the funeral of the “Godfather of Soul” on December 30, 2006, it marked the close of a forty-year friendship. In Say It Loud! Rhodes pays tribute to James Brown and his storied career, with a close and comprehensive look at the life of the legendary singer at his home in Augusta, Georgia, and the family he left behind. From the evolution of Brown’s fiery, uniquely rhythmic musical style to his social activism, world travels, run-ins with the law, and four marriages (and uncertain number of affairs), Rhodes provides a sensitive but candid look at the life of the man behind such hits as “I Feel Good,” “Please, Please, Please,” “Sex Machine,” and “Say It LoudI’m Black and I’m Proud.” He takes us back to the 1960s, when James Brown and other American soul and rock artists were relieved to find that they had nothing to fear from the Beatles and other British artists taking America by stormindeed, as some of the Brits acknowledged, the Americans had inspired them. Mick Jagger, whose dance steps were influenced by Brown, once said of him, “His show didn’t just have to do with the artist but had to do with the audience. . . . Their reaction was always . . . like being in a church.” Unlike his friend Elvis Presley, James Brown went on to be a frequent global traveler, adored by fans throughout the world. Say It Loud! bears out the reputation of the man with the famous cape as “the hardest-working man in show business,” bringing us the full story of a conscientious performer and consummate professional with a fascinating and controversial personal life. Never-before-published photos, as well as anecdotes from an enduring friendship and details of Brown’s life at home, will further ensure that music fans of all ages will cherish this tribute to an American icon by a longtime friend.
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
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- 7.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Read an Excerpt
From the foreword, by Brenda Lee [B]oth James and I came up poor doing what we could as children to help earn money for our families; with me picking cotton and with James picking up pieces of coal from railroad tracks so his family could have some heat in the winter. But we both ended up selling more than 100 million records each and touring internationally with fans in many countries.It’s a great honor to share so much in common with James Brown, but perhaps one of my biggest thrills was seeing him perform live in Nashville. His raw emotion was palatable, and his incredible energy and trademark dance moves drove the crowd completely wild, me included.
Meet the Author
Don “Ramblin” Rhodes is the author of Ty Cobb: Safe At Home (Lyons Press), Entertainment in Augusta & the CSRA, and of the Augusta Chronicle’s regular column Ramblin Rhodes, the longest running country music column in America. He has been nominated several times to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in the non-performer category. He lives in North Augusta, South Carolina.
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