James Brown died early Christmas Day in Atlanta after being admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. The Hardest Working Man in Show Business made one of his many comebacks from adversity at the Wiltern Theatre here on June 10, 1991. It was a pay-per-view event for cable that followed his release from prison in South Carolina. Brown received a Grammy for lifetime achievement the next year, to go with his earlier awards for "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "Living In America" (which he's belting out in the photo from the Wiltern.) Brown joined the first class of inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which says "what became known as soul music in the Sixties, funk music in the Seventies and rap music in the Eighties is directly attributable to James Brown." From The Godfather of Soul website:
Mr. Brown is a three-figure hitmaker with 114 total entries on Billboard's R&B singles charts and 94 that made the Hot 100 singles chart. Seventeen of these hits reached number one, a feat topped only by Stevie Wonder and Louis Jordan...
With his signature one-three beat, James Brown directly influenced the evolutionary beat of soul music in the Sixties, funk music in the Seventies and rap music in the Eighties....His furious regimen of spins, drops, and shtick such as feigning a heart attack thrilled crowds. The ritual donning of capes and skintight rhythm & blues became part of his personal trademark as a performer.
"Please Please Please" will be played in a lot of living rooms over the next couple of days. Working until the end, he had dates in February at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills and the Anaheim House of Blues. AP story, CNN
Photo: AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian