James Brown’s Son Remembers Legendary Father with WGWG.org

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Daryl Brown’s New Book Explores Life, Legacy of “Godfather of Soul”

The 'Get On Up' feature film also premieres this week.

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. — Legendary musician James Brown grew up in a home with a dirt floor and clothes fashioned from sacks.  After his father gave him a keyboard organ and he taught himself to play it, Brown evolved into one of the most imitated stage performers in modern American history.  His son, Daryl, a songwriter and musician himself, recently reflected on Brown’s life and career in an interview with WGWG.org.

Daryl’s new book, “Inside the Godfather,” chronicles James Brown’s life.  It reflects on the star’s humble beginnings in South Carolina, his rise to stardom, his battles with personal controversy and substance addictions, and his influence on other legendary performers like Michael Jackson.

“There was something about the music with him,” Daryl reflected.  “The first time he played music at a gig, he went out and heard the girls scream, and that was it.  He was hooked.  That man was always moving.  That’s why his shows were so exciting.  The energy went from zero to 10.”

The release of the book coincides with the August release of a new movie, “Get on Up.”  The film navigates Brown’s rise from poverty to influential musician.  Daryl said there were pros and cons of being James Brown’s son, adding that his father did battle many adversities in his life.  The book, however, doesn’t hide from that reality, he said.

“When you’re going to tell the truth, you can’t tell half the truth or you’ll mess up,” Daryl shared.  “I struggled with saying some things, but I realized my dad’s story is a testimony for someone else.  That’s why I did it.”

Daryl spent almost four years authoring the book, just a few years following Brown’s 2006 death.  As he now promotes the work, he’s also assembling his own band that he hopes to stage by October.  He credits his father’s influence on his own work.   “‘Please, Please, Please’ was his first hit,” Daryl recalled.  “As a band member, if he asked you to play it, you better know it.  When I first started playing guitar, that was the first song I learned because I knew he was gong to ask me to play it one day.”



For the complete WGWG.org interview with Daryl Brown, click here.  “Inside the Godfather” is available at insidethegodfather.com, waldorfpublishing.com, via Amazon, and for Kindle, Nook and Apple iBooks.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University offers a comprehensive academic experience that introduces students to the diverse world of ideas and to the people who think them, preparing them for professional success and for productive citizenship.