This morning I awoke to hear the news that James Brown died. As many of my students know, I am huge fan of James Brown’s music. The man was a brilliant band leader and song-writer who invented funk and is often credited with developing disco. He also played a major part in the American Civil Rights movement.

James BrownForever Funky and Remembered…James Brown

I first came to notice James Brown’s music as a teenager in 1985 when I watched the movie Rocky 4 in which he performed one of his hits, ‘Living In America’. It was also around this time that I watched the movie ‘The Blues Brothers’ for the first time and was mesmerised by James Brown’s performance as a preacher in church. A few years later I saw the movie Good Morning Vietnam and heard for the very first time the James Brown classic ‘I Got You (I Feel Good)’. As a young musician trying to learn the art of arranging music I was transfixed by the interaction of the drumming, the bass guitar, the horns and the three chords of the guitar in that song. From that day, I became a lifelong fan of James Brown.His music influenced so many musicians around the world including one of my all time favorites, Prince.

I consider myself to be very lucky that I had the opportunity to see James Brown perform live on his last two tours of Australia (see review). Not only could the man write fantastic songs but he was also one of the best show men in the business. Every time, I heard his music I felt great but every time I played my guitar to his music I felt truly inspired and motivated.

If there is a super group in Heaven it’s now going to be one very funky band.

Rest in Peace James Brown and thank you for the music.

Learn more about James Brown

Visit the official James Brown website.

By STEVE YANKO

Copyright © STEVE YANKO 2006

About the Author


Steve Yanko is a Music Teacher, Musician, Song Writer & Consultant who loves working in the world of music.