Skip to content

Dutch Vinyl – Online Record Store Australia

James Brown

American singer, songwriter, and musician.

Born: 3 May 1933 near Barnwell, South Carolina, USA.
Died: 25 December 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA (aged 73).

James Brown was raised in poverty in Augusta, Georgia.

1950s: Joined the Gospel Starlighters in 1953, a vocal quartet led by Bobby Byrd, after completing a four-year stint in prison for robbery. As Brown became the focal point of the act, the group changed its name to 'The Famous Flames' and its focus from gospel to R&B. In 1955 The Famous Flames record "Please Please Please" at the studio of WIBB in Macon, Georgia. In 1958 James Brown's first #1 hit, "Try Me", is released. It was the best-selling R&B single of 1958, and the first of 17 chart-topping R&B singles by Brown over the next two decades.

1965: Records "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", a revolutionary single that ushers in a whole new era of soul music. Released that summer, it tops the R&B chart for eight weeks and even cracks the pop Top Ten.

1971: Signs with Polydor Records, for which he recorded extensively throughout the decade.
1974: The Payback, the most successful of James Brown's Seventies albums—many of which were double-LPs with lengthy, extended tracks—makes its debut on Billboard's album chart. It is the only gold-certified (500,000 copies sold) album of his career.

1984: Bronx DJ Afrika Bambaataa teams up with Brown to record the anthemic single "Unity".
1986: "Living In America", the theme song from Rocky IV, reaches #4 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, becoming Brown's biggest pop hit since "I Got You (I Feel Good)" went to #3 in 1965.

1992: Receives a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 34th annual Grammy Awards.

2006: Hospitalized with pneumonia, dying on Christmas Day.

Inducted into Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 (Performer).
Inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2000.