2007 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Walls, Simmons, Horhn, Harden, Thomas, Jordan, Butler, Williamson, Jackson (11th), Turner, Frazier, Albritton, Burton, Chaney, Davis, Dawkins, Dearing, Fillingane, Gollott, Gordon, Posey, Ross, White, Wilemon

Senate Concurrent Resolution 518

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, amazing rhythm and blues pioneer James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul," whose fiery hits "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag," "I Got You (I Feel Good)," "Please, Please, Please," "Say It Loud-I'm Black and I'm Proud," "Mother Popcorn," "Superbad," "Cold Sweat," "Get Up Offa That Thing" and "Living In America" defined the music of two generations and appealed to all races, passed away on Christmas Day, December 25, 2006, at age 73; and

     WHEREAS, from the 1950s, when Brown had his first R&B hit, "Please, Please, Please" in 1956, through the mid-1970s, Brown went on a frenzy of cross-country tours, concerts and new songs.  He earned the nickname "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business" and often tried to prove it to his fans; and

     WHEREAS, James Brown made young black Americans feel "proud."  His stage act was as memorable, and as imitated as his records, with his twirls and spins and flowing cape, his repeated faints to the floor at the end as band members tried in vain to get him to leave the stage; and

     WHEREAS, born in poverty in Barnwell, South Carolina, in 1933, Brown was abandoned as a four-year-old to the care of relatives and friends.  He grew up on the streets of Augusta, Georgia, in an "ill-repute area," as he once called it, where he learned how to hustle to survive; and

     WHEREAS, Brown was performing to the end, and giving back to his community.  Three days before his death, he joined volunteers at his annual toy giveaway in Augusta, and he planned to perform on New Year's Eve at B.B. King's Blues Club in New York; and

     WHEREAS, James Brown's nicknames included "Soul Brother Number One," "the Godfather of Soul," "the Hardest Working Man in Show Business," "the Exalted Ruler of Rhythm and Blues" and "Mr. Dynamite"; and

     WHEREAS, to ease tension in the days after the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Brown went on the air at a Boston radio station and sang through the night in an effort to defuse riots; and

     WHEREAS, he had more than 119 singles making the charts and recorded more than 50 albums.  Every record he made during 1960-1977 reached the Top 100; and

     WHEREAS, James Brown changed music.  The release of "James Brown, Live at the Apollo Theatre," Volumes 1 and 2, in 1963 was a landmark musical event which was embraced by young Americans of all races for its mixture of blues, jazz and exciting rhythms; and

     WHEREAS, James Brown was one of the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and other founding fathers.  He made soul music a world music; and

     WHEREAS, James Brown made numerous live concert appearances in the State of Mississippi, including exciting performances on the campus of Jackson State University, and headliner shows for the Jubilee Jam Festival in Jackson, Mississippi; and

     WHEREAS, it is with sadness that we note the passing of this musical icon who cast a long shadow, made us all "feel good like we knew that he would," and served as a role model for all musicians:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life and artistic contributions of rhythm and blues pioneer James Brown, "The Godfather of Soul," and extend to his surviving family the sympathy of the Legislature on his passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be transmitted to the surviving family of James Brown and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.