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The Hardest Working Man: How James Brown Saved the Soul of America

James Sullivan.
Publisher Gotham Books  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8 x 5.25 x 0.7 inches
ISBN 9781592404902
Pages/Publication Date 244/2008
Daedalus Item Code 20546
This item is not available.
Since James Brown's death in December 2006, the Godfather of Soul has received many tributes, yet few have addressed his contribution in the bleakest hour of the civil rights movement. The former pop culture critic at the San Francisco Chronicle, James Sullivan here tells the story of Brown's historic Boston Garden concert the day after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. Sullivan details the charged atmosphere in Boston, Brown's arguments with city officials to take the stage, and the electric performance he delivered. Through the prism of this concert, Sullivan also charts Brown's rise from poverty to self-made millionaire, his enormous influence on popular music, and his complex relationship with the civil rights movement.

"Sullivan examines James Brown's role in saving Boston from the fires and riots that swept the U.S. after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. Booked into Boston Garden the night of April 5, 1968, Brown agreed to put the show on live local TV to give would-be rioters reason to stay home. Garden management wanted to cancel, doubtless to avoid rioting in the Garden, but Brown and Boston's first black city councilor interceded with Mayor Kevin White to prevent cancellation. Sullivan goes further in crediting Brown for keeping the peace than others have, and so doing, he also examines the Godfather of Soul's life and career in the context of the Civil Rights movement. By 1968, Brown had become 'Soul Brother Number One,' and his presence was 'a major event, a ritual.' At the same time, the cultural gulf between races was so wide that the mayor at first 'thought the headliner in question was Jim Brown'—the NFL running back. A good record of a pivotal event and a serviceable Brown bio, to boot."—Booklist

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The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert That Awakened America
Raymond Arsenault.
Publisher: Bloomsbury.   Format: paperback. ISBN: 9781608190560.  Daedalus Item Code: 31924
List Price: $18.00 Sale Price: $4.98 You Save: $13.02
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