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JAMES BROWN: A FAMILY AFFAIR (BROWNSTONE)
To be honest, I’ve never been a huge James Brown fan – did see him in concert in London though when Martha High was one of his support singers – but, hey, totally respect he’s one of the most influential figures of the 20th Century, and of course, his huge musical input knows no borders and continues to live on today. An artist to stand up and listen to, without a doubt. Anyway, this posthumously released CD features his daughters Yamma and Venisha – hence the title I guess. Not a commercial release, more of a personal one. It seems some of the tracks are perhaps incomplete or at demo status, but it’s these fragile sounds that will intrigue and delight stalwart fans. Outside of this music, James Brown involved himself in helping others, particularly Black youngsters. He became an activist in educational progression, encouraging children to learn at school rather than drop out. He also gave money to help others less fortunate than himself. Civil Rights was another area in which he was active – performing benefit concerts, speaking at political rallies, and so on. Maybe, “Say It Loud” was one of his most defiant of songs; it certainly packed the message! He was a man of the people, and for the people. And through his music, he was able to financially help and give hope to those in despair, as well as bring pleasure on a global scale.

Rating: 6

About the Writer
Sharon Davis ran the Four Tops fan club before spearheading Motown Ad Astra, catering for all the Motown acts, where she edited the in-house magazine TCB. Was publicist for Fantasy, Stax and Salsoul before joining Motown Records in London. Formed her own press/promotion company Eyes & Ears, worked for Blues & Soul magazine and website, and became a full time author and researcher. To date Sharon has written eleven books (her last A Girl Called Dusty published by Carlton Books) and she’s working on her next - Divas Of Motown. As a researcher, Sharon assisted Diana Ross with her autobiography Secrets Of A Sparrow, and is now in constant demand for her knowledge about Motown and its artists.
  
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