James Brown: The Godfather of Soul by James Brown
He was 'the hardest working man in showbusiness'; he invented modern funk music; he was an electrifying, sweat-drenched live performer; he was the gospel-singing, jiving preacher who stole the show in The Blues Brothers: he spent several periods in jail; he wrote such funk classics as 'Please Please Please', Sex Machine', 'Living in America' and 'Papa's Got a Brand New Bag'. James Brown was one of the truly legendary figures of modern pop, soul and rock music, and a seminal influence on countless musicians from Mick Jagger to Prince. Now, two years after his death, Aurum republish Brown's own life story: his remarkably frank, passionate and revealing autobiography, out of print in the UK for 20 years. The Godfather of Soul tells of Brown's childhood in a brothel in Augusta, Georgia, his roots in gospel singing, his rise to fame from the endless gigging on the chitlin circuit, his time in jail, and every milestone in his astonishing musical career, including his friendships with Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Tina Turner, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. It is an astonishing tale of a man who was larger than life on and off-stage every minute of his existence. James Brown died in 2006 at the age of 73. He was still touring until shortly before his death. Bruce Tucker is a freelance writer who lives in New Jersey.