Follow us: Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Google+ Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on Tumblr Subscribe to our RSS or Atom feed
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


Our Writers

  • Adam Peck
  • Alan Gordon
  • Alex Kearns
  • Alex Seitz-Wald
  • Alice Murray
  • Allison Korn
  • Alyssa Cagle
  • Amanda Marcotte
  • Amanda Peterson Beadle
  • Andrea Grimes
  • Andrea Lee Meyer
  • Andrew Bowen
  • Andy Brack
  • Andy Kopsa
  • Andy Miller
  • Andy Schmookler
  • Ann Marie Pace
  • Ann Woolner & Leonard Ray Teel
  • Anna Dolianitis
  • Anna Forbes and Kate Ryan
  • Annelise Thim
  • Anoni Muss
  • April Adams
  • April Moore
  • Ariel Harris
  • Armando
  • Arthur Blaustein
  • Austen Risolvato
  • Austin McMurria
  • Barry Hollander
  • Bert Roughton III
  • Beth Ostlund
  • Betsey Dahlberg
  • Bill Caton
  • Bill Hamm
  • Bill Mankin
  • Bill Montgomery
  • Bill Moyers & Michael Winship
  • Bill Phillips
  • Bill Semple
  • Bill Tush
  • Billy Howard
  • Bob Bohanan
  • Bob Pritchard
  • Booth Malone
  • Bootsie Lucas
  • Boyd Lewis
  • Brad Clayton
  • Braden Goyette For ProPublica
  • Brandon Collins
  • Brett Martin
  • Brian Randall
  • Brianna Peterson
  • Bruce Dixon
  • Bruce E. Levine
  • Burton Cox
  • Candice Dyer
  • Carl Kline
  • Carol Carter
  • Carson M. Lamb
  • Casey Hayden
  • Cathleen Hulbert
  • Center for American Progress
  • Chantille Cook
  • Charles Finn
  • Charles O. Hendrix Jr.
  • Charles Seabrook
  • Charles Walston
  • Chelsea Toledo
  • Chelsey Willis
  • Chris Bowers
  • Chris Kromm
  • Chris Wohlwend
  • Christopher Burdette
  • Chrys B. Graham
  • Chuck Collins
  • Cliff Green
  • Cody Maxwell
  • Collin Kelley
  • Craig Miller
  • Crissinda Ponder
  • Dallas Lee
  • Dan Kennedy
  • Daniel Flynn
  • Daniel K. Williams
  • Daniel Palmer
  • Danny Fulks
  • Dante Atkins
  • Darby Britto
  • Dave Cooley
  • Dave Johnson
  • Dave Pruett
  • David Bradford
  • David Evans
  • David Harris-Gershon
  • David Jenks
  • David Kyler
  • David Parker
  • David Roberts
  • David Rotenstein
  • David Swanson
  • Dean Baker
  • Deb Barshafsky
  • Debbie Houston
  • Deborah Chasteen
  • Denise Oliver Velez
  • Dennis McCarthy
  • Desiree Evans
  • Dian Cai
  • Diana
  • Diane Rooks
  • Dina Rasor
  • Dindy Yokel
  • Doc
  • Don Lively
  • Don O'Briant
  • Donnie Register
  • Door Guy
  • Doug Couch
  • Doug Cumming
  • Dr. Brian Moench
  • Dr. Dorothy Ann Boyd-Bragg
  • Dr. Nick De Bonis
  • Dr. Ravi Batra
  • E. David Ferriman
  • Earl Fisher
  • Eden Landow
  • Eileen Dight
  • Eleanor Ringel Cater
  • Elizabeth Shugg
  • Ellen Brown
  • Elliott Brack
  • Erin Kotecki Vest
  • Fatima Najiy
  • FishOutofWater
  • Francisco Silva
  • Frank Povah
  • Fred Brown
  • Frederick Palmer
  • Gadi Dechter, Michael Ettlinger
  • Gail Kiracofe
  • Gaius
  • Georgia Logothetis
  • Gib Ennis
  • Gina Williams
  • Gita M. Smith
  • Glenn Carroll
  • Glenn Overman
  • Gordon Anderson
  • Gregory C. Dixon
  • Gryphon Corpus
  • Hamp Skelton
  • Harriet Barr
  • Heather Boushey
  • Henry Dreyer
  • Henry Foresman
  • Hollis B. Ball III
  • Hugh
  • Hyde Post
  • Ian Kim
  • Ian Millhiser
  • Isabel Owen
  • Ivy Brashear
  • J.A. Myerson
  • Jack deJarnette
  • Jack Wilkinson
  • Jacklyn C. Citero
  • Jake Olzen
  • James Hataway
  • James Marc Leas
  • James N. Maples
  • Janet Ward
  • Jasmine Burnett
  • Jason Palmer
  • Jason Parker
  • Jay Thompson
  • Jaz Brisack
  • Jeff Cochran
  • Jeff Davis
  • Jeff Rayno
  • Jeff Spross
  • Jeffry Scott
  • Jennifer Hill
  • Jesse Harwell
  • Jessica Luton
  • Jim Allen
  • Jim Bentley and Jeff Nesmith
  • Jim Clark
  • Jim Cobb
  • Jim Fitzgerald
  • Jim Newell
  • Jim Stovall
  • Jim Walls
  • Jim Warren
  • Jimmy Booth
  • Jing Luo
  • Jingle Davis
  • JL Strickland
  • Joan Donovan
  • Jodi Jacobson
  • Jody Wegmueller
  • Joe Earle
  • Joe Shifalo
  • Joel Groover
  • Joey Ledford
  • John A. Tures
  • John Dembowski
  • John Hickman
  • John Hickman with Sarah Bartlett
  • John Huie
  • John M. Williams
  • John Manasso
  • John Sugg
  • John Tabellione
  • John Yow
  • Jon Sinton
  • Jonathan Grant
  • Jonathan Odell
  • Joni Hunnicutt
  • Jonna Pattillo
  • Joseph B. Atkins
  • Joseph Gatins
  • Josh Dorner
  • Josh Sewell
  • Joy Moses
  • Judith Stough
  • Judy McCarthy
  • Juli Ward
  • Julian Bond
  • Julian Riggs Smith
  • Julianne Wyrick
  • Julie Ajinkya
  • Julie Puckett Fodera
  • Just Plain Will
  • Kaili Joy Gray
  • Kate Greer
  • Kate McNally
  • Katherine A. Edmonds
  • Kathleen Brewin Lewis
  • Kathleen Harbin
  • Kathleen R. Gegan
  • Kathryn Hoffman
  • KC Wildmoon
  • Keith Graham
  • Ken Edelstein
  • Ken Haldin
  • Ken Hawkins
  • Ken Peacock
  • Kevin Austin
  • Kevin Duffy
  • Kip Burke
  • Kirk McAlpin
  • Kirsten Barr
  • Kos Moulitsas
  • Kristie Macrakis
  • Lacey Avery
  • Lamont Cranston
  • Laura Clawson
  • Laura Smith
  • Laurence Lewis
  • Lawrence S. Wittner
  • Lee Leslie
  • Lee Robin
  • Leon Galis
  • Leonce Gaiter
  • Les Eatwell
  • LikeTheDew
  • Linda Hunt Beckman
  • Linda Jordan Tucker
  • Lisa Byerley Gary
  • Lisa Kerr
  • Lois Beckett, Propublica
  • Lorraine Berry
  • Louie Crew Clay
  • Louis Mayeux
  • Lovell Jones, Ph.D.
  • Lucy Emerson Sullivan
  • Lucy Guest
  • Maggie Lee
  • Maisha White
  • Mandy Richburg Rivers
  • Margi Ness
  • Marian Wang, ProPublica
  • Marie Diamond
  • Mark Dohle
  • Mark Johnson
  • Mark Sumner
  • Martha W. Fagan
  • Mary Civille
  • Mary Elizabeth King
  • Mary Kay Andrews
  • Mary Lee
  • Mary Willis Cantrell
  • Matt Blakely
  • Matt Johnson
  • Matt Musick
  • Matt Renner
  • Matthew Wright
  • Maurice Carter
  • Meg Livergood Gerrish
  • Meghan Miller
  • Melanie Rochat
  • Melinda Ennis
  • Michael Bailey
  • Michael Beckel
  • Michael Castengera
  • Michael Ettlinger
  • Michael J. Solender
  • Michael Linden
  • Michael Lux
  • Michael W. Twitty
  • Mike ”Hunter” Lazzaro
  • Mike Copeland
  • Mike Cox
  • Mike Handley
  • Mike Lofgren
  • Mike Ludwig
  • Mike Williams
  • Mimi Skelton
  • Moni Basu
  • Monica Smith
  • Murray Browne
  • Myra Blackmon
  • Nancy Melton
  • Nancy Puckett
  • Nancy Robinson
  • Nancy Rogers
  • Neill Herring
  • Nelly McDaid
  • Nikki Gardner
  • Niles Reddick
  • Noel Holston
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • Overman & Senn
  • Pamela Sumners
  • Pat Garofalo
  • Pat LaMarche
  • Pat Norman
  • Patrick Andendall
  • Patrick L. Ledford
  • Patsy Dickey
  • Patti Ghezzi
  • Paul Buchheit
  • Paul Krupin
  • Paul Rutledge
  • Paul Thim
  • Pete & Jack
  • Peter Crawford
  • Peter Turnbull
  • Phil Gast
  • Phil Noble
  • Philecta Clarke Staton
  • Philip Graitcer
  • Phyllis Alesia Perry
  • Phyllis Gilbert
  • Piney Woods Pete
  • Polly
  • R S
  • R.L. Miller
  • Rafael Alvarez
  • Randy Conway
  • Randy Schiltz
  • Ray Bearfield
  • Raymond L. Atkins
  • Reagan Walker
  • Rebecca Sive
  • Ric Latarski
  • Richard Eisel
  • Righton C. Willis
  • Rob Chambers
  • Rob Coppock
  • Rob Douthit
  • Robert Allen
  • Robert Dardenne
  • Robert E Hunt Jr
  • Robert Jensen
  • Robert Lamb
  • Robert M. Williams, Jr.
  • Robert Mashburn
  • Robert Weiner & Richard Mann
  • Robin Marty
  • Rodney Adams
  • Roger Gregory
  • Ron Feinberg
  • Ron Taylor
  • Rose Aguilar
  • Rose Weaver
  • Rosemary Griggs
  • Russ Wellen
  • Sam Morton
  • Sao Magnifico
  • Sara Amis
  • Sarah Ayres
  • Sarah Bufkin
  • Saralyn Chesnut
  • Scott Anna
  • Scott Borchert
  • Scott Keyes
  • Scott Wooledge
  • Sean Manion
  • Seth Cline
  • Shane Gilreath
  • Sharon M. Riley
  • Shay Dawkins
  • Sheffield Hale
  • Sheila Barnard Nungesser
  • Sigrid Sanders
  • SoniaTai
  • Sonya Collins
  • Soraya Chemaly
  • Spencer Lawton
  • Stephanie Taylor
  • Stephen Lacey
  • Stephen Wingeier
  • Steve King
  • Steve Krodman
  • Steve Valk
  • Stuart Liss
  • Sue Sturgis
  • Sujigu
  • Susan De Bonis
  • Susan Soper
  • Susan Wilson
  • Suz Korbel
  • Tammy Andrews
  • Tammy Ingram
  • Tanya Somanader
  • Ted Kooser
  • Terri Evans
  • The Barnacle Goose
  • Thomas A. Bledsoe
  • Tiger Liliuokalani
  • Tim Oliver
  • Timothy Freeman
  • Timothy Hurst
  • Tom Baxter
  • Tom Crawford
  • Tom Ferguson
  • Tom Millsop
  • Tom Poland
  • Tom Walker
  • Travis Waldron
  • Travis Waldron & Pat Garofalo
  • Trevor Stone Irvin
  • Tricia Collins
  • Troubadour
  • Valerie Evans
  • Viveca Novak
  • Waldron, Somanader & Garofalo
  • Walter Rhett
  • Wanda Argersinger
  • Wayne Countryman
  • Wayne Johnson
  • We The People
  • Will Cantrell
  • Will Nelson
  • William Cotter
  • William Hedgepeth
  • Yana Kunichoff
  • Yasmin Vafa
  • Zack Beauchamp
  • Zack Ford
  • Zaid Jilani
  • Zaina Budayr




  • Writer Login


    Papa, His Triumphs & His Messes

    by | 1 | Apr 26, 2010

    James Brown may have been telling more than he intended on his 1974 hit, “Papa Don’t Take No Mess.”

    Papa didn’t cuss
    He didn’t raise a whole lotta fuss
    But when we did wrong

    Papa beat the hell out of us

    Papa was calm but Papa could explode. As it was with James Brown.

    The man’s smile could light the way on a starless night. His music inspired and enthused. James Brown couldn’t make the lame walk but he could make the rhythmically-challenged learn to groove.

    Yet James Brown had that downside. There were the violent explosions in his personal life. There was the mess he left behind when his vibrant self took that last breath on Christmas Day 2006.

    James Brown’s life made millions happy. He was the hardest working man in show business. He made sure his customers were satisfied with his work. Yet many of those satisfied customers had to take pause over the thought of James Brown in turmoil.

    What was desired from James Brown was an eternal proclamation of “I’m back! I’m back!” as heard in his triumphant “Get Up Offa That Thing.”

    The troubles with the law, spouses, and the matter of determining the legitimacy of children born were not what the Godfather of Soul meant to order. But it’s what he got, along with his many triumphs.

    The often contradictory life of James Brown is evident when recalling the national leaders and politicians he associated with and often aided.

    In his autobiography, Brown said he was often in touch with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Andrew Young ,and Hosea Williams. He did not buy fully into King’s non-violent philosophy, writing that “personally I’ll take a lick on one cheek, but I won’t take it if it comes to the second cheek.” He reasoned that the Bible speaks of self-defense. Yet Brown knew how vital King’s work was to the nation’s future. He thought of King as “America’s best friend.” Then King was murdered. People reacted violently, as could be expected. So Brown spoke from the Boston Garden stage the night after King’s assassination, exhorting people to honor Dr. King and to work toward fulfilling his dream. Looting and setting fires  would not keep the dream alive..

    Brown made similar pleas the next day in Washington, D.C., where all hell had broken loose. A little more than two years later, he worked to bring peace to his hometown of Augusta, Georgia. A 16 year old black male had been killed in the Richmond County Jail. The authorities may not have committed the crime but they were responsible for it. That jail was the same one James Brown turned 16 in; he was doing time for stealing items from parked cars. The irony couldn’t have been lost on Brown. He too had been a victim of Georgia’s two-way justice system: one way for whites and another way for blacks. The pot had long been simmering. Things got ugly in Augusta.

    But Brown pleaded again for people to turn away from the violence. Lester Maddox, the cartoon-ish segregationist who became a cartoon-ish governor, was relieved Brown’s message got across.

    When the SNCC’s H. Rap Brown was under indictment, James Brown wrote a check for his defense fund.  Both men had previously talked with each other about the paths to justice. Brown told the activist that  “I agree with you, Rap, we got to get justice. But people shouldn’t have to die. They shouldn’t have to die.” Brown wrote that he “disagreed with Rap about a lot of things, but I also didn’t like the way the government was harassing him.”

    In a period of four years, Brown went from being ready to endorse Bobby Kennedy for the presidency to endorsing the reelection of President Nixon. On the day of the ’68 California primary, a promotion man for Brown reached RFK at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles to tell him of Brown’s desire to endorse him. That pleased RFK. Hours later, after declaring victory in the primary, he was murdered.

    Upon Kennedy’s death, Vice President Hubert Humphrey received the support of James Brown. Humphrey lost in the general election to Richard Nixon. In ’72 Nixon received Brown’s endorsement. He claimed to be impressed with what Nixon was doing for black colleges and minority enterprises. Despite his reasons, Soul Brother Number One took a lot of heat for that.

    Years later, when Rolling Stone asked Brown to name a great twentieth-century hero, he picked Strom Thurmond, the U.S. Senator from South Carolina. Yes, the same Thurmond that ran for President as the nominee of the “Dixiecrat” party in 1948. Yes, the same Thurmond who filibustered against the 1957 Civil Rights Act. Perhaps Brown appreciated that Thurmond may have expressed second thoughts by voting in favor of the federal holiday to honor Dr. King. Brown had been an early supporter of the King holiday, asking President Nixon to put the weight of his office behind the measure. Nixon showed little interest and it wasn’t until 1986, nearly 12 years after Nixon left the presidency in disgrace, that the nation had its holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr.

    In the summer of ’96, the Olympic games were staged in Atlanta. Along with the athletes and media from all over the world came the entertainers. A House Of Blues was set up in the old Baptist Tabernacle building downtown, near the newly constructed Centennial Olympic Park. For those who cared more for music than the athletic competition, HOB was the happening place. In about two weeks time, Dr. John, Bobby Blue Bland, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Al Green would be among the top names booked. Bob Dylan would close out the series of shows on August 3 and 4. Dylan’s 8/3 set wowed the audience, especially with his blazing rendition of the Grateful Dead’s “Alabama Getaway,” one of the night’s encores.

    But there could be no Showtime in Atlanta without James Brown. So on Friday night, July 26,  James Brown took the stage in the tented area at HOB. According to reports, he was a bit uneasy about performing in the old Baptist church building. It was the sacred-versus-the profane dilemma. There’d be more reasons to feel uneasy later on.

    But before he took the stage, all was right with James Brown and the Atlanta Olympics. On the site Humid City, a writer who worked for HOB remembered seeing Brown arrive for his show.

    He pulled up in a Snow White stretch limo with a vanity plate that said “Godfather.” He hopped out fizzing with energy, and immediately started shaking hands and kissing girls at the security perimeter. Yes, he really seems like that all the time.

    Hours later a bomb went off in Centennial Park. It was 1:19 a.m., Saturday. Terrorist Eric Rudolph had come to town.

    Not everyone in the vicinity knew what happened, but the HOB crew was on top of things. The Humid City writer describes the events surrounding James Brown.

    When the pipe bomb went off, my friend Vaughn and I had to tell (Brown) there would be no encore.

    The Godfather was not happy.

    What do you mean there will be no encore? I’m the Godfather. These people want to see the Godfather and I’m not going to disappoint them.”

    They told him a bomb had just gone off at Centennial Park, just a block away. The Godfather of Soul had a change of heart.

    “Where’s my limo? Where my women at? Let’s get out of here.”

    James Brown was a brave soul but he was no fool. Besides, he had more than ten years left in him. There were a lot of shows to give. People wanted to see the Godfather and he didn’t want to disappoint them.

    ###
    Jeff Cochran

    Jeff Cochran

    Jeff Cochran worked in advertising at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 27 years before accepting a buy-out in the Summer of 2008. In the seventies/early eighties, he handled advertising for Peaches Records and Tapes’ Southeastern and Midwestern stores. He also wrote record reviews for The Great Speckled Bird, a ground-breaking underground newspaper based in Atlanta.

     

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email

     

    • Jeff, I just got around to reading your piece on James Brown a little while ago. Been meaning to do it ever since it was posted but I’ve this awfully long “Honey Do” list of late. In any event, I enjoyed your piece immensely. One of the reasons for my enjoyment is that it reminds me that I have only recently come to truly appreciate James and his “body of work”. I guess that posthumous appreciation is better than none at all. Regretfully, it is sometimes the only appreciation that some artists get.

      I suspect that I didn’t give James’ work the chance that I should and could have while he was alive, because perhaps I grew a impatient with the turmoil of which you write about that seemed to surround James’ life, and sometimes his work. I learned more years ago than I care to count that oftentimes athletes, actors, artists and other creative and inventive people were complex individuals who very often exhibited inconsistent and complex behavior. (A lot of them tended to die too young.) Certainly James Brown fit that mold. But so, in their own way “did/does” Elvis, Ali, Jim Brown, Michael Jordan, Marvin Gaye, David Ruffin, Tiger Woods and a whole host of celebrity artists/athletes. Of course, when you think about it, maybe the only difference between these ‘larger than life’ folks and the rest of us is that their lives are followed, written about, and analyzed ad infinitum by the working press. While TMZ goes all “atwitter” when they spot one of these folks out having dinner, I don’t think that TMZ gives one damn if they spot Will Cantrell or Jeff Cochran out enjoying a sandwich at Billy Burger’s. If you or I show human frailty and screw up, we won’t get the gargantuan type news coverage that ‘ a James Brown’ would get.

      I “aint” excusing James’ run-ins with the law. I am, by no means, how he sometimes didn’t think that some rules and laws didn’t apply to him. I ain’t at all. I just wish maybe that maybe I’d have appreciated his WORK a little bit more when he was ‘with us’. Our friend and fellow contributor to The Dew, Tom Poland has a wonderful quote on his website by the author, Harry Crews. Paraphrased says that “…the good work is done by people with jagged edges, broken edges, because those edges cut things and leave an imprint…”.

      “Papa” was by no means perfect. He was a complex man …but he left a helluva imprint.

  • Worthy of Comment






  • Bruce Springsteen Sings "Robert Mueller's Comin' to Town"



  • Come Back, Barack - SNL



  • Indivisible at One

    Green Day - Back In The USA



  • The Most Honest Three Minutes
    In Television History


  •  
     
     
  • %d bloggers like this: