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  • # This is a man`s world

  • # This is a man`s world

  • # But it wouldn`t be nothing

  • # Nothing

  • # Nothing

  • # Nothing...

  • `You might say l`ve got a marker on my back l never knew was there.

  • `They fixed it where l couldn`t see it myself.`

  • # This is a man`s world...

  • `l was marked in many different ways, with names, for example,

  • `and each one has a different story behind it.`

  • # This is a man`s world...

  • `As a kid growing up in a whorehouse l was called Little Junior.

  • `As a teenager in prison, they called me Music Box.

  • `On the road in the `50s, l was Mr Dynamite,

  • `the hardest-working man in show business.`

  • James Brown had the first sense of street credibility,

  • because he took it to the streets, the ghettos and the black community first.

  • # Without a woman or a girl #

  • `ln the `60s, when l said, ``Die on your feet, don`t live on your knees,``

  • `l became Soul Brother Number One.`

  • He not only had the number one record,

  • he had changed the whole cultural paradigm of black America.

  • He wasn`t a hot artist, he was a way of life.

  • `Then they called me the Godfather Of Soul.`

  • He could be a tyrant, he could be generous.

  • He could be extremely patient and tolerant

  • and he could be demanding beyond reason.

  • `And they called me His Bad Self

  • `when the lRS and the police came down on me.`

  • # You make me feel so good l wanna scream

  • # People...

  • `ln the `80s and `90s l was known as the Minister Of The New Super-Heavy Funk

  • `to a new generation of hip-hoppers and rappers.`

  • ln the beginning was the heavens and the earth,

  • and there was James Brown, right there,

  • with a big ``E`` on his forehead for ``Entertainment``.

  • - # When l say - # Can l scream...scream?

  • - # Let me scream - # l heard, l heard a scream

  • # Let me scream

  • (Screams)

  • He deserved every title placed on him, from Soul Brother Number One

  • to the King Of Soul, the Minister Of Super-Heavy Heavy Funk,

  • and the Godfather Of Soul.

  • `l`ve been called many names in my time,

  • `but my legal name, the one l`m known by today, is James Brown.

  • `l first came to Augusta, Georgia back in 1 938.

  • `My Aunt Honey ran a gambling house here.

  • `Some people called that a crime. l called it survival.`

  • lt`s funny when you remember what it means, being almost 70 years old.

  • l remember when it was almost like new.

  • And you see those houses torn down now, it`s unbelievable.

  • This is really the beginning for me. This is where everything started.

  • On this side of the street, ladies and gentlemen,

  • it was white.

  • Everybody was white who lived here. And we was black, we lived over there.

  • We lived that close together in two different communities.

  • `l lived in Honey`s house, on Augusta`s south side.

  • `That`s when they called me Little Junior.

  • `We got our own gang started there, me and Mr Thomas Cook.`

  • What you say, my man?

  • He remembers it was my aunt that raised me.

  • Boy and Honey and all of them.

  • - ls Willie Mae doing OK? - Yeah, she`s OK.

  • (lnterviewer) What went on in that house? How did she make a living?

  • Right out, right there?

  • How`d she make a living?

  • Selling... She sold untaxed liquor, unstamped liquor.

  • And we called it a house of ill repute.

  • That`s what was happening there.

  • We used to go hustling the soldiers in 1 940, 1 941 , and go get `em a girl.

  • Cos we had to have money.

  • l danced where you see that sign. l danced for the soldiers.

  • l picked up, l don`t know, l guess about $6.

  • lt was $5 for rent, and l gave all the money to Miss Honey.

  • 1 8 people in the house. You couldn`t do nothing.

  • lt had an impact on him. Why wouldn`t it?

  • You have to sing and dance, thank God for your talent,

  • but you have to sing and dance for nickels and dimes to feed a family.

  • He`s been hungry, he`s been poor, he`s lived in the slums,

  • he`s lived in a place that wasn`t fixed up and wasn`t lit up.

  • We all have, l have too.

  • And he don`t want to go back.

  • `l was born in a one-room shack near Barnwell, South Carolina.

  • `The year was 1 933.

  • `l guess we lived about as poor as you could be.

  • `l remember my mother standing at the door of the cabin ready to leave.

  • ```You keep the child, Joe``, she said to my daddy.

  • `l didn`t see her again for 20 years.

  • `l was four years old.`

  • lt was my daddy`s business. Why they broke up, l don`t want to know.

  • When they broke up, l`m sorry l was the baggage they were worrying about.

  • God says, ``Vengeance is mine.`` l can`t punish my mother and my daddy.

  • `The best thing l remember is the 1 0-cent harmonica my father gave me.

  • `He did a lot of turpentine work.

  • `There were pine trees all around the cabin and he worked them.

  • `My daddy was gone a lot, travelling the turpentine camps.

  • `So l was left to myself.

  • `l played with sticks and with doodlebugs.

  • `Years later, l recorded a tune called ``Doodle Bug``.

  • # Doodle bug...

  • `Being alone in the woods like that, having nobody to talk to,

  • `gave me my own mind.

  • `No matter what came my way after that,

  • `prison, personal problems, government harassment,

  • `l could fall back on myself.`

  • l`ve been with him to the backwoods of South Carolina where he grew up.

  • He spent a lot of time alone.

  • His father left him alone, his mother had gone till he was in his 20s.

  • Somewhere in them woods, a spirit got in him of determination

  • that he either won`t let go or it won`t let him go,

  • but both of them haven`t let the world go for the last 4 7 years.

  • He decided, ``One day l`m gonna be some... l`m going to show everyone.

  • ``l`m going to show myself first.

  • ``l know what l can do, but l`ll show everyone l can do it.``

  • Yeah, l don`t want nobody to give me nothing.

  • l`ll go to work. Don`t give me nothing, you understand me?

  • But give me the chance to earn it. Don`t give me a handout, give me a way out.

  • # So alone, gee l hate to see you go

  • # You mean the world to me, you know You just said so...

  • `What helped me find a way out in those days was music.

  • `l`d met another kid called Leon Austin.

  • `He showed me how to play piano with both hands.`

  • He got interested in playing the piano

  • because the piano was just sitting there in the house

  • and we both really was learning.

  • You know, he...

  • l would play the boogie-woogie with just three keys, you know like...

  • ...like that.

  • He would always add something to it as he learned it.

  • We stayed there until we got the boogie-woogie down.

  • l wanted to perfect boogie-woogie.

  • lt was big at the time, but you`d better not be caught doing it in church.

  • `ln order to use their piano,

  • `l started cleaning out Trinity Baptist Church before services.

  • `There was gospel singing and hand-clapping,

  • `and the preacher would really get down.

  • `l`m sure a lot of my stage show came out of the church.`

  • l think James Brown was tremendously influenced by preachers.

  • When l hear a preacher looking for a note...

  • And when he finds that note,

  • then he would work on that one note for a long time.

  • And when he wanted to take it higher he`d say, ``Take it up a little higher.

  • ``A little higher,`` then ``Higher!``

  • And ``Higher!``

  • The next thing you know he goes ``Higher!`` and it becomes a scream.

  • Owww!

  • # Please, please, please, please, please, please...

  • (Continues singing)

  • When somebody screams ``Ow!`` it was pain, mental pain

  • and physical pain.

  • There ain`t but two pains, mental and physical.

  • You had to think about that one for a while. There`s not but two.

  • Tears of joy people cry because they`re happy, but it`s not pain.

  • They`re happy. Happy is happy and unhappy is unhappy.

  • There`s only two, physical and mental.

  • l think personally l`d rather have physical pain.

  • l can go to the doctor and take care of that, but that mental pain...

  • The Lord gotta take care of that. l can`t do it myself.

  • Mental pain comes from White Man having two water fountains.

  • At a petrol station or any major place we had to go to the bathroom,

  • they had ``Ladies``, which was white, and ``Men``, which was white.

  • That`s where that pain comes from.

  • ```Yes, sir``, ``No, sir`` is what my daddy would say in front of white people.

  • `But l didn`t accept the life he accepted.

  • `When they took him away to the navy during World War ll,

  • `l started to be a street kid, a little thug.

  • `l was listening to all the sounds around me,

  • `from street bands to Louis Jordan and Duke Ellington.

  • `But what l really wanted to do was box.

  • `My idol was Beau Jack, lightweight champion of the world,

  • `who, just like me, started making his living on Augusta`s Broad Street.

  • `Back then, l saw myself as a kind of Robin Hood.

  • `l started stealing from the cars of the rich to give to the poor

  • `because l`d been sent home from school for having insufficient clothes.`

  • That`s the school l went to, anyway. Silus X Floyd.

  • So l started stealing... to look good at school.

  • That`s that Robin Hood effect again, in reverse.

  • Cos biblically it don`t belong to you, you know you`re wrong,

  • but you`re dealing with Man, so...

  • l couldn`t have none.

  • So l stole from the rich to take care of the poor and me.

  • Cos l was poorer than they was.

  • `One day they caught me, and l got 8 to 1 6 years.

  • `lf you don`t allow a man an education, don`t put him in jail for being ignorant.

  • `That`s what they did to me when l was 1 6 years old.`

  • They put me in prison.

  • l had the hardship, the hard knocks and l just stayed right there with everything,

  • but music keep it alive.

  • `l hadn`t been there a couple of months before l started a gospel group.

  • `You feel that spirit when you sing.`

  • (Gospel singing)

  • `ln gospel music, you have to learn the different parts,

  • `and how to put them together.`

  • The only person they talked about in the whole camp was Music Box,

  • which was James Brown. He had something special.

  • l knew if he had the chance, he could really go, go, go.

  • And of course, he did.

  • # l-l-l feel, l feel that old feeling coming on

  • # l-l-l...

  • `l joined Bobby Byrd`s group after early parole.

  • `We did gigs all around the area.

  • `lt was 1 952 and l was 1 9 years old.

  • `And l started dating Bobby`s sister Sarah.`

  • He liked me.

  • l think l kind of liked him, probably.

  • l was young. l don`t know.

  • But anyway, yeah, we went out. We had a little thing going.

  • (Laughs)

  • Oh, my goodness. Anyway, James had a good voice for singing, he really did.

  • But there were others that did too, that could really sing.

  • James always wanted to be out.

  • He`d think no one else could sing as well as he could.

  • So when we went up against each other, you know, with lead parts,

  • he would always say after the programme was over,

  • ``Sarah, you tried to out-sing me.`` l said, ``No, you tried to out-sing me!``

  • ``No, we gotta agree now, you can`t be out-singing me.`` That`s how he was.

  • We had a thing where he would take a lead part and l would take a lead part,

  • and we`d be back and forth with the gospel thing.

  • lf l did something fantastic,

  • he`d try to do something more fantastic, and a lot of times he did.

  • His determination was to be someone.

  • He would have been at the top of the line no matter what he did,

  • whether it was baseball, football or whatever.

  • He had that determination that he would be the best.

  • Boxing, l could have been very good at it. l was real, real good. But...

  • ...it wasn`t where l wanted to go.

  • Baseball was my first choice. l was first on baseball.

  • But l heard the girls scream when l sang, and everything else was finished.

  • # Since you been gone

  • # l drink and gamble every night

  • # Oh...

  • Everything l`ve ever attended in public, l saw something l could use in my act.

  • The cape, that came from the wrestler Gorgeous George.

  • Many years ago. Wore curlers in his hair and wore a cape.

  • But l took it a little farther.

  • l had a towel, you know.

  • lt wasn`t show business, but more or less like you have in a spirit in a church.

  • James Brown said, ``l`m gonna express myself in a raw, untamed way,``

  • which most artists wouldn`t do before him.

  • People wanted to be accepted. James Brown wanted to be felt.

  • His scream, his moan, his groan,

  • all of that was, ``l wanna express myself even if you`re not comfortable with it.

  • ``l have to release this.``

  • And when he released it, he released a scream in all of us

  • that had so much scream built up in us, but never had the nerve to let it go.

  • # Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please

  • # Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please

  • # Please, please, please

  • # Darling, please

  • # Oh