Tribute to James Brown

Often referred to as the Godfather of Soul, the late great American singer, songwriter, arranger, and dancer, James Brown sadly passed away on December 25th 2006. Born May 3rd, 1933 in Barnwell, South Carolina. He was a prolific singer, songwriter and bandleader and became one of the most iconic mportant and influential figures in funk and soul music from 1956-2006. This remarkable achievements earned him the sobriquet “the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business” and helped him become one of the most popular entertainers in 20th-century popular music. Among his most popular songs are  “It’s A Man’s World” “Try Me” “Night Train”  “Please, Please, Please” “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”  “I Got You (I Feel Good)”  “Cold Sweat ” “Say It Loud—I’m Black and I’m Proud” “Get on Up” and “Super Bad.

At age 15 Brown was sentenced to 8 to 16 years in prison after being arrested for breaking into cars but was released after 3 years for good behaviour. While at the Alto Reform School, he formed a gospel group named the Flames (later the Famous Flames), which soon attracted the attention of the legendary Little Richard , whose manager helped promote the group, and they went to Cincinnati, Ohio, to record their first song “Please, Please, Please” which went on to sell three million copies and launched Brown’s extraordinary career. Along with placing nearly 100 singles and almost 50 albums on the best-seller charts, Brown broke new ground with two of the first successful “live and in concert” albums— Live at the Apollo (1963), and the follow-up, Pure Dynamite! Live at the Royal.

During the 1960s Brown was known as “Soul Brother Number One.” His hit recordings of that decade have often been associated with the emergence of the Black Arts and black nationalist movements, especially the songs “Say It Loud—I’m Black and I’m Proud”, “Don’t Be a Drop-Out”, and “I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothin’ (Open Up the Door, I’ll Get It Myself)”. Politicians recruited him to help calm cities struck by civil insurrection and avidly courted his endorsement. In the 1970s Brown became “the Godfather of Soul,” and his hit songs stimulated several dance crazes and were featured on the sound tracks of a number of “blaxploitation” films. When hip-hop emerged as a viable commercial music in the 1980s, Brown’s songs again assumed centre stage as hip-hop disc jockeys frequently incorporated samples from his records. He also appeared in several motion pictures, including The Blues Brothers and Rocky IV, and attained global status as a celebrity, especially in Africa,where his tours attracted enormous crowds and generated a broad range of new musical fusions.

Brown’s uncanny ability to sing soulful slow ballads as well as electrifying up-tempo tunes, often blending blues, gospel, jazz, and country vocal styles together, made him one of the most influential vocalists of the 20th century. His extraordinary dance routines featuring acrobatic leaps, full-impact knee landings, complex rhythmic patterns, dazzling footwork, dramatic entrances, and melodramatic exits redefined public performance within popular music and inspired generations of imitators. The musicians associated with him (Jimmy Nolan, Bootsy Collins, Fred Wesley, and Maceo Parker) have also played an important role in funk music. in 1986 Brown was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to the world of Funk and Soul Music .

Happy Christmas 2012

Christmas  meaning “Christ’s Mass”) is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ and a widely observed holiday, celebrated generally on December 25 by millions of people around the world. A feast central to theChristian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide.Christmas is a civil holiday in many of the world’s nations,is celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians,and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season. The precise year of Jesus’ birth, which some historians place between 7 and 2 BC, is unknown. His birth is mentioned in two of the four canonical gospels. By the early-to-mid 4th century, the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25,a date later adopted in the East. The date of Christmas may have initially been chosen to correspond with the day exactly nine months after early Christians believed Jesus to have been conceived, as well as the date of celebration of the southern solstice (i.e., the Romanwinter solstice), with a sun connection being possible because Christians consider Jesus to be the “Sun of righteousness” prophesied inMalachi 4:2.

christmas_tree

The original date of the celebration in Eastern Christianity was January 6, in connection with Epiphany, and that is still the date of the celebration for the Armenian Apostolic Church and in Armenia, where it is a public holiday. As of 2012, there is a difference of 13 days between the modern Gregorian calendar and the older Julian calendar. Those who continue to use the Julian calendar or its equivalents thus celebrate December 25 and January 6 on what for the majority of the world is January 7 and January 19. For this reason, Ethiopia,Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, and the Republic of Moldova celebrate Christmas on what in the Gregorian calendar is January 7; the Church of Greece and all Greek Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25.

The popular celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian, and secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, Christmas music and caroling, an exchange of Christmas cards,church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly. In addition, The figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, and Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore. Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas is a factor that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world.