James Brown, 1933-2006

funky-christmas.jpgIt’s worth taking a moment to break from our largely literary focus today, I think. Christmas just isn’t the same without James Brown—oh, I’ve still got my recordings of “Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto,” and the incomparable “Hey America (It’s Christmas Time),” but knowing that he won’t be singing them live for some audience somewhere…and that’s before we even begin to get into the rest of what made the Godfather of Soul an icon of what 20th-century America was all about.

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25 December 2006 | obituaries |