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The One: The Life and Music of James Brown

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The One: The Life and Music of James Brown Cover

ISBN13: 9781592406579
ISBN10: 1592406572
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The definitive biography of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, with fascinating findings on his life as a Civil Rights activist, an entrepreneur, and the most innovative musician of our time

Playing 350 shows a year at his peak, with more than forty Billboard hits, James Brown was a dazzling showman who transformed American music. His life offstage was just as vibrant, and until now no biographer has delivered a complete profile. The One draws on interviews with more than 100 people who knew Brown personally or played with him professionally. Using these sources, award-winning writer RJ Smith draws a portrait of a man whose twisted and amazing life helps us to understand the music he made.

The One delves deeply into the story of a man who was raised in abject-almost medieval-poverty in the segregated South but grew up to earn (and lose) several fortunes. Covering everything from Brown's unconventional childhood (his aunt ran a bordello), to his role in the Black Power movement, which used andquot;Say It Loud (I'm Black and Proud)andquot; as its anthem, to his high-profile friendships, to his complicated family life, Smith's meticulous research and sparkling prose blend biography with a cultural history of a pivotal era.

At the heart of The One is Brown's musical genius. He had crucial influence as an artist during at least three decades; he inspires pity, awe, and revulsion. As Smith traces the legend's reinvention of funk, soul, RandB, and pop, he gives this history a melody all its own.

Review:

"Drawing on in-depth interviews with Brown's many friends and music partners, journalist Smith powerfully chronicles Brown's rapid rise from his early days in Augusta, Ga., singing gospel through the pinnacle of his fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s to Brown's sharp fall from grace in the 1990s with headline-grabbing arrests for domestic battery. Brown loved the spectacle of religion that the famous religious itinerant preacher, Daddy Grace, put on at the United House of Prayer in Augusta, and he learned rhythm from the house band there. Later, in his own shows, Brown got so caught up in the spectacle of entertaining that he became a force unto himself whose hungry passion and energy — expressed forcefully and fitfully through his trembling dancing and call-and response singing — transformed his audiences. Brown's music still sounds so alive and continues to mystify because Brown brought others into a world he created that made his art a total experience. Through the pulsing rhythms of 'Papa's Got a Brand New Bag,' the funky, hypnotic beat of '(Get on the) Good Foot,' and the Black Power anthem, 'Say It Loud,' Brown, as Smith demonstrates, reshaped rhythm and blues, pumping it full of an energy that moved listeners to ecstasy. Smith's compelling and detailed portrait of one of our greatest musicians reveals affectionately and honestly the reasons we jump up every time 'I Feel Good' comes on the radio. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

The definitive biography of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, with fascinating findings on his life as a Civil Rights activist, an entrepreneur, and the most innovative musician of our time

Playing 350 shows a year at his peak, with more than forty Billboard hits, James Brown was a dazzling showman who transformed American music. His life offstage was just as vibrant, and until now no biographer has delivered a complete profile. The One draws on interviews with more than 100 people who knew Brown personally or played with him professionally. Using these sources, award-winning writer RJ Smith draws a portrait of a man whose twisted and amazing life helps us to understand the music he made.

The One delves deeply into the story of a man who was raised in abject-almost medieval-poverty in the segregated South but grew up to earn (and lose) several fortunes. Covering everything from Brown's unconventional childhood (his aunt ran a bordello), to his role in the Black Power movement, which used "Say It Loud (I'm Black and Proud)" as its anthem, to his high-profile friendships, to his complicated family life, Smith's meticulous research and sparkling prose blend biography with a cultural history of a pivotal era.

At the heart of The One is Brown's musical genius. He had crucial influence as an artist during at least three decades; he inspires pity, awe, and revulsion. As Smith traces the legend's reinvention of funk, soul, R&B, and pop, he gives this history a melody all its own.

About the Author

R.J. Smith has been a senior editor at Los Angeles magazine, a contributor to Blender, a columnist for The Village Voice, a staff writer at Spin, and a contributor to numerous other publications. His award-winning cultural history, The Great Black Way, was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. He lives in Los Angeles.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Mary Capps, August 5, 2012 (view all comments by Mary Capps)
This is an amazing overview of the Hardest Working Man in Show Business. After reading about his beginnings, I'm truly surprised at the heights he reached, his incredible business savvy, and his personal dysfunction. My recommendation? Get up offa that thing and read this incredibly well-researched and well-written biography!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781592406579
Subtitle:
The Life and Music of James Brown
Author:
Smith, R J
Author:
Smith, R. J.
Publisher:
Gotham
Subject:
Composers & Musicians
Subject:
Music-Individual Composer and Musician
Subject:
Biography-Composers and Musicians
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120315
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
One 8-page bandw photo insert
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
9.29 x 6.27 x 1.5 in 1.5 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Blues and Rhythm and Blues
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Soul and Motown
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Individual Composer and Musician
Biography » Composers and Musicians
Biography » General
Featured Titles » Biography

The One: The Life and Music of James Brown Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Gotham Books - English 9781592406579 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Drawing on in-depth interviews with Brown's many friends and music partners, journalist Smith powerfully chronicles Brown's rapid rise from his early days in Augusta, Ga., singing gospel through the pinnacle of his fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s to Brown's sharp fall from grace in the 1990s with headline-grabbing arrests for domestic battery. Brown loved the spectacle of religion that the famous religious itinerant preacher, Daddy Grace, put on at the United House of Prayer in Augusta, and he learned rhythm from the house band there. Later, in his own shows, Brown got so caught up in the spectacle of entertaining that he became a force unto himself whose hungry passion and energy — expressed forcefully and fitfully through his trembling dancing and call-and response singing — transformed his audiences. Brown's music still sounds so alive and continues to mystify because Brown brought others into a world he created that made his art a total experience. Through the pulsing rhythms of 'Papa's Got a Brand New Bag,' the funky, hypnotic beat of '(Get on the) Good Foot,' and the Black Power anthem, 'Say It Loud,' Brown, as Smith demonstrates, reshaped rhythm and blues, pumping it full of an energy that moved listeners to ecstasy. Smith's compelling and detailed portrait of one of our greatest musicians reveals affectionately and honestly the reasons we jump up every time 'I Feel Good' comes on the radio. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,

The definitive biography of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, with fascinating findings on his life as a Civil Rights activist, an entrepreneur, and the most innovative musician of our time

Playing 350 shows a year at his peak, with more than forty Billboard hits, James Brown was a dazzling showman who transformed American music. His life offstage was just as vibrant, and until now no biographer has delivered a complete profile. The One draws on interviews with more than 100 people who knew Brown personally or played with him professionally. Using these sources, award-winning writer RJ Smith draws a portrait of a man whose twisted and amazing life helps us to understand the music he made.

The One delves deeply into the story of a man who was raised in abject-almost medieval-poverty in the segregated South but grew up to earn (and lose) several fortunes. Covering everything from Brown's unconventional childhood (his aunt ran a bordello), to his role in the Black Power movement, which used "Say It Loud (I'm Black and Proud)" as its anthem, to his high-profile friendships, to his complicated family life, Smith's meticulous research and sparkling prose blend biography with a cultural history of a pivotal era.

At the heart of The One is Brown's musical genius. He had crucial influence as an artist during at least three decades; he inspires pity, awe, and revulsion. As Smith traces the legend's reinvention of funk, soul, R&B, and pop, he gives this history a melody all its own.

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