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The Hardest Working Man: How James Brown Saved the Soul of Americaby James Sullivan
Synopses & Reviews
The story of the night James Brown kept the peace in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and delivered hope with an immortal performance
Since James Brownas death in December 2006, the Godfather of Soul has received stirring tributes from coast to coast. Yet few have addressed his contribution in the darkest hour of the civil rights movement. Telling the untold story of his historic Boston Garden concert of 1968, The Hardest Working Man also captures the magnificent achievements that made Brown a revolutionary icon of American popular culture.
Acclaimed journalist James Sullivan begins his stirring account by depicting the racially charged climate of Boston in the hours after Martin Luther King, Jr.as death. Brownas concert was slated for cancellation as police geared up for mass retaliation. After Brown butted heads with the mayor, the show was allowed to go onaand his emotional, electric performance was broadcast live on local television. Though rioting erupted in more than a hundred U.S. cities that night, Boston remained quiet. Not only bringing to life that transforming show, James Sullivan also charts Brownas incredible rise from poverty to self-made millionaire and the pivotal voice behind the signature anthem aSay It LoudaIam Black and Iam Proud, a making The Hardest Working Man a tribute to an unforgettable concert and a rousing biography of a revolutionary musician.
Acclaimed journalist Sullivan tells the story of the night James Brown kept the peace in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.--and delivered hope with an immortal performance in Boston.
The untold story of the night a divide nation turned to James Brown—and he delivered hope and calm in the form of an immortal concert
Since James Brown's death in December 2006, the Godfather of Soul has received many stirring tributes. Yet few have addressed his contribution in the darkest hour of the Civil Rights movement. Telling for the first time the story of his historic Boston Garden concert the day after Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, The Hardest Working Man captures the magnificent achievements that made Brown an icon of American popular culture.
Sullivan details the charged atmosphere in Boston, Brown's fight against city officials to take the stage, and the electric performance he delivered. Through the prism of this one concert, Sullivan also charts Brown's incredible rise from poverty to self-made millionaire, his enormous influence on popular music, and his complex relationship with the Civil Rights movement, making The Hardest Working Man both a tribute to an unforgettable concert and a rousing biography of a revolutionary musician.
About the Author
James Sullivan is a regular contributor to The Boston Globe. He previously served as the pop music and culture critic at the San Francisco Chronicle and has written for Rolling Stone and many other publications.
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