History for the Rest of Us

James Brown

James Brown

May 3, 2012

Born May 3, 1933, James Brown was a singer, musician, songwriter, radio station owner, and recording artist. He is considered the founding father of funk music (his 1967 hit ‘Cold Sweat’ cited as the first true funk song) with a signature groove that emphasized the first beat of every measure. He had a significant impact on popular music and dance over the course of his decades long career. His 1969 recording, ‘Funky Drummer’ is the most sampled piece of music in the world. In 1955, Brown performed in a group called ‘The Gospel Starlighters’. It was through this that he would get to know the brother of one of the performers, Bobby Byrd, and join his vocal group ‘The Avons’. As their sound evolved they changed their name to ‘The Famous Flames’. Brown and his bands performed in concerts around the world, as well as on numerous television shows and in movies like Rocky IV and Blues Brothers. Brown employed nearly 50 people as a part of the James Brown Revue. He traveled with them by bus across the United States, performing over 300 shows a year.He was one of the original performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He received a lifetime achievement award in 1992 at the Grammy Awards, and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1990. Despite Brown’s tremendous success, he also holds the record of having the most singles on the Billboard Hot 100 without ever reaching number one. Brown died on Christmas Day 2006 from heart failure. Vote for your favorite James Brown Song below: [polldaddy poll=6195066] Related Stories: Beatles HELP! That’s All Right Sgt. Peppers The Monkees Quotes on...