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12.26.2006

R.I.P. James Brown 

The Godfather of Soul. The Hardest Working Man in Show Business. Mr. Dynamite. Soul Brother No. 1. The Baddest of the Bad, The Coolest of the Cool. James Brown, now playing every night at the big Apollo Theater in the sky.

I never saw him live, but I had the honor of seeing the original Funky Drummer, Clyde Stubblefield, with the B3 Bombers at Chicago's Green Mill club one night. It might have been the show they recorded for this album, but I'm not certain.

Thanks in large part to the Giants using it as a theme song one year, "I Got You (I Feel Good)" is on my short, short list of great songs I never want to hear again, but I'll never get tired of "Cold Sweat," the shout-out of cities on the route of "Night Train," the staccato horn punches in "Sex Machine," or a thousand other riffs and licks, beats and growls that gave birth to vast sweeps of the music landscape we now take for granted.

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