Talk:James Brown/Archive 3

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Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

To do

Birth place / date inconsistencies

The title paragraph of this entry lists Brown as having been born in Georgia, yet the section on his life lists his birthplace as Barnwell, South Carolina. The inconsistency is repeated in a fan site, and is thus understandable... can anyone verify either birthplace as the real one? His Dad Cheated on his Mom with a guy -Tirral

Also note that while Mr Brown claimed birth in 1933, several sources (inc. official documents) list his birthdate as 1928. Did Mr. Brown cut five years from his age to try to appear younger?→ R Young {yakłtalk} 08:33, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Here's what appears to be James Brown's official site - Godfather of Soul. James Brown Enterprises. Retrieved December 27, 2006.
Nothing is mentioned about he birth year in the biography at this site. Nothing is mentioned about a 1928 birth year (or any specific birth year) in his biography on this site; the only mention of his age at his death (73) appears on a page listing for tour dates at Tour Dates @ Godfather of Soul. I also checked the The Smoking Gun for stories that refer to his age (besides mugshots and an ad professing to break off the marriage, I found a June 14, 2004 reference to a story that reports his age as 71 years old and another reference to a story dated earlier in the year (January 28, 2004) that mentions 70 years old. Since his birth month was May, the difference shows in the reported months -- January (before birth month) and June (after his birth month). Here's a link to an Aiken County (SC) incident report filed by the police on July 3, 2000 that shows James Brown's birth date as May 3, 1933. I'm supposing that James Brown had to prove his identity through a driver's license or other ID or official record at his arrest, since his full name (James Joseph Brown) is noted in the report.
Since you mentioned that someone referred to "official documents" showing a 1928 birth year, what document are you referring to? I see someone added 1928 as a birth year, but the that editor did not provide a citation. If the birth is indeed disputed, then a neutral, verifiable source also needs to be provided to document this discrepancy. Otherwise, unless a concrete, verifiable source that most can see is provided for the birth year, someone is bound to revert or delete the 1928 birth year until this citation or a verifiable source is found and presented here. lwalt 09:57, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

You people are amazing! A reference for this was very easy to find:,,60-2518509,00.html

Also, note what it says:

Brown always gave his date of birth as 1933, but this was at odds with the facts, as recorded on the various court documents relating to his run-ins with the American authorities, which give his date of birth as May 3, 1928.

The 1991 World Almanac also lists him as born in 1928.

James Brown: A colossus of popular music (subscription), Ireland - Dec 25, 2006 James Joe Brown Jnr was born in 1933 (some sources say 1928) in a one-room country shack just outside Barnwell, South Carolina. His parents separated when ...

James Brown, 1933 - 2006 Rolling Stone - Dec 25, 2006 Born in Barnwell, South Carolina, in 1933 (some sources give 1928 as the year of his birth), Brown was serving jail time by the age of 16. ...

Was this so hard? At the least, it bears investigating why some sources have said "1928" (and for more than 20 years).→ R Young {yakłtalk} 15:13, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I looked James Brown up in my Penguin Dictionary of Popular Music (not the Internet--an actual physical book). It gives his birth date as May 3, 1928. There is no mention in it of a 1933 birth date. TheScotch 06:43, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
So 1928 it is then - surely his death certificate (if it is readily available in 'The Land of the Free') should clear the matter up, once and for all. I do note that the main article still persists with 1933 though !
Derek R Bullamore 23:03, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Moving note about birth year here for those who missed the second discussion:

An issue appears to have arisen as to the year of birth from James Brown. Since no definitive consensus has coalesced from printed and media sources, the source that I've used comes from the published obituary program for Brown's private memorial service for the family. In this obituary source, the family lists the birth date as "May 3, 1933." lwalt 19:14, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Aside from the Penguin Dictionary of Popular Music discussed above surely court documents are more reliable. If he fudged his age for career reasons and his family didn't know he did this that would explain why the obituary stated 1933 instead of 1928.-- 07:43, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
I understand where you're coming from. But, for the moment, we can only go by the information published by the family in the obituary unless, of course, someone releases (or leaks) a copy of JB's death certificate (won't be surprised at this, since JB's arrest report by the South Carolina police (which shows 5/3/1933 as the birth date) has already been leaked on the Internet). The death certificate will surely tell the tale (and I won't be surprised, too, if this leak happens with all of the fighting over his estate), since both the birth and death dates will be recorded on this official document. In that case, there won't be any dispute in the dates. lwalt 07:56, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Note to interested editors -- To address the continuing debate over the JB birth year, I've added a footnote and sources that acknowledge the birth year discrepancy. This reference (footnote 2) is noted where the birth year (1933) appears (infobox and intro paragraph) in the article. Lwalt ☯ contribstalk 17:25, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Birth date

Was he born in 1928 or 1933? A google search brings up mixed results!

Grove Music states 1928. --Gnud 10:10, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

James Brown was born in 1933! As a James Brown fan tired of reading the incorrect birthdate of 1928 - I write this once again to try and get the record straight. In his 1996 book James Brown Doin' It To Death - author Geoff Brown tells how the 1928 brithdate came about - through sloppy research by the NME in the 1960s. The 1928 James Brown was a musician also, but they neglected to work out that this was a different person all together.

People keep quoting the 1928 date - but it doesn't even make sense. JB was a minor when he was sentenced to prison in 1949 - they waited until he turned 16 to try him as an adult. He spent the rest of his teens in prison - until he was released into the custody of the Byrd family in 1952.

For those who write about JB stop quoting 1928 - it is easy to find out how incorrect this is.

I'm sorry, but in and of itself what you've written above does not convince me. Au contraire, it is not at all "easy" to verify that the May 3, 1928 date is incorrect. It is only easy to verify that two different dates are being bandied about. If I had to bet, I'd go with 1928: It's what my Penguin Dictionary of Popular Music gives, and when celebrities lie about their age, as they very often do, they almost always shave years off rather than add years on. Anyway, until someone proffers something definite either way, I think the article should give both dates. TheScotch 06:57, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I found this on the Internet ( " 'When I was writing the book and I asked him how old he was, there was a kind of rumble that went up in the room,' [Marc] Eliot [Brown's "official bioghrapher"] said. 'The discrepancy is probably due to when he went to reform school: It saved him a lot of grief if they shaved off a year or two.' Some say Brown finagled a change in his birth year to lessen the consequences of criminal charges. Brown once told Augusta radio personality Austin Rhodes in an interview that it ensured he was tried as a juvenile, and not as an adult. A librarian asked to search records in Barnwell reported that she could turn up nothing in the genealogical records about the infant Godfather. South Carolina vital statistics are still checking. Rhodes says that, in the 1950s, when Brown needed a passport to travel overseas, he couldn’t produce a birth certificate. However, a U.S. senator stepped in to help him push the paperwork through. The date and place, it seems, didn’t matter as much as the senator." TheScotch 07:43, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
An issue appears to have arisen as to the year of birth from James Brown. Since no definitive consensus has coalesced from printed and media sources, the source that I've used comes from the published obituary program for Brown's private memorial service for the family. In this obituary source, the family lists the birth date as "May 3, 1933." lwalt 21:59, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Brown's year of birth has not been verified, and the article should state this. How is that so difficult? TheScotch 09:29, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

See footnote 2, which includes information that acknowledges the reported discrepancy in the birth year. This reference is noted in both the infobox and intro paragraph. Lwalt ☯ contribstalk 17:25, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Leading Photographs

Please may we have a picture of James Brown in his heyday as the lead to this article? I feel a picture from anywhere in the decade 1965-1975 would be far more appropriate illustration. He is after all an important and legendary figure and a recent pic does not seem right to me.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Philster (talkcontribs) 23:30, 27 May 2007

Can we please find a suitable photograph that isn't Optimus Prime? (talk) 18:03, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Just a vote to concur. Please, a better photo than one of the Godfather of Soul playing some shit-ass club with the women's restroom sign in the background. Think "How he'd want to be remembered."

Last Will?

Umm...the article claims that "Strom Thurmond, Jr." observed the recording of JB's Last Will and Testament. Is this a joke? Sen. Strom Thurmond never had a son that he gave his name to, and I find it very unlikely that the son of someone who filibustered Civil Rights would be JB's lawyer. Is there another Strom out there? OcciMoron 18:27, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Joke?? Nothing in the article, to my knowledge, points to a joke. The attorney's name who is handling matters for the James Brown estate has been mentioned various times by the mainstream media. For example, see footnote 76 in the James Brown article, or any of the various links to new media coverage on Google.
The fact that the attorney happens to be the namesake of, or related to, former Senator Thurmond is immaterial and irrelevant to issues regarding the James Brown estate. But, just in case you need to know, attorney Thurmond happens to be the son of the late Senator Thurmond, as mentioned in this article.
Hope that this information provides answers to your concerns. Lwalt ♦ talk 19:37, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the answers, Lwalt. I could've done without the incredibly rude attitude, since it's reasonable to wonder if maybe someone edited the name and it went unnoticed, this being, you know, a wiki, but I appreciate your having supplied the relevant links. OcciMoron 20:17, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Link problem

Why do the external links link to Wikipedia pages? Needs to be changed. --Bentonia School 05:40, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Elaborate please...that is, which links are you referring to? Lwalt ♦ talk 06:55, 6 October 2007 (UTC

Giving Lack of Credit where it's Due

I attended a high school in the 1960s where black folks had the largest representation. So I have an idea of what music was played, and which musicians were talked about.

These panegyrics about James Brown have no foundation. He was mentioned occasionally in those days as a successful black person. Well and good. But in terms of being a critical personality in the music industry, or having contributed to music idioms which he never heard of? No. This is just straight wrong. Check the hit parade, or stats on frequency of airing, or contemporaneous magazine stories.

Fandom should not be represented as objective truth. 11:48, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Jacque Hollander

Something about this case should be on this page: andrewlargemanjones —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:28, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I put something in; we'll see how long it lasts---one hopes longer than an ice cube in a warm room. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:26, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

James Brown's year of birth

I know this has been discussed in an earlier post, but I hope this will put to rest all of the questions about Mr. Brown's year of birth. According to the 1920 US Census. The state of South Carolina and in the county of Bamberg and the town of Fish Pond. Mr Brown's mother (Susie Behlings) is show in the census as well as his grandmother (Rebecca Behlings) and grandfather (Mony Behlings), in the census his name is spelled Monnie. Susie Behlings is listed as 4 1/2 years old at this time. Jump forward to the 1930 US Census. Rebecca is listed as a widow and Mr. Brown's mother is listed as being 13 years old. It would seem that if Mr. Brown was born in 1928, his mother would've been 11 or 12 years old! Not impossible, but highly unlikely.

Jrock1956 04:26, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Proposed article merge

I'm looking for feedback on the proposed merging of the article Record labels owned by James Brown into the main James Brown page. I created the record labels article and the merge was proposed minutes after its creation. So far the merge tag has remained in this article for a month without comment. If people want the merge to happen, say so, otherwise I will just remove the tags, as I think it is better to keep the record labels info in a separate article. InnocuousPseudonym 00:35, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Record label article merge

I believe that the record label article section should remain separate. The James Brown section is already huge and it's hard to spot vandalism because of it's size. Jrock1956 01:38, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

It's been a while now and the consideration of the subject has resulted in two editors in favor of keeping the articles separate against one for merging them, so I'm removing the merge tags. InnocuousPseudonym (talk) 03:17, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Joe Tex and Shooting Controversy

Joe Tex has a feud with James Brown after James Brown took his wife, Bea Ford as well as the report that James Brown took his dance moves. Similarities do exist in their dance moves (Joe Tex [1] and James Brown [2] ) He then wrote a song called "You Keep Her." [3] They shared a few more shows together until Tex mocked James Brown's act of throwing a cape over his shoulder and screamed "please - get me out of this cape" [4] James Brown later fired several rounds at Joe Tex. [5] —Preceding unsigned comment added by UnclePaco (talkcontribs) 06:06, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes...we know that this same information has been added to and removed from the JB article several times already, but this information requires other corroborating sources, particularly since an allegedly shooting took place that would have prompted police action, especially in a context venue. I've searched for MSM sources (using Google) and on biography databases (using my credentials as a university grad student) for other corroborating stories that point to this incident. Nothing came up in the newspapers about this incident through my search for both names in the same article in the biography databases. As for googling the Internet, I was only able to find this information about the shooting repeated on blogs, message boards (some on the message boards were asking the question that I have here - what's the real story? -- with a variety of versions offered up by "supposed people in the know" who "heard" about the incident) and on You Tube. None of these sources are considered reliable sources under Wikipedia standards.
Even the Augusta Chronicle -- the newspaper where Brown spend a considerable amount of time, put the incident in this context: "Legend has it that Mr. Brown once fired shots at him [Joe Tex] after he [Tex] mocked his [Brown's] cape routine on stage." The only information that's corroborated by this source is that Bea Ford was a protege of Brown who joined his revue, that Joe Tex released the single "You Keep Her" in response and that Ford is the mother of Darryl Brown, a beneficiary of Brown's will according to the "who's who in the family tree" published by the newspaper (this source also points to Yvonne Fair as the mother of Venisha Brown, a daughter who's also a beneficiary).
SOURCE: Edwards, J. (2007, December 23). The family circle. The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved January 7, 2007.
Do you have other reliable sources besides blogs, message boards and You Tube videos to corroborate the story? Lwalt ♦ talk 11:23, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

I thought spinner magazine, a music magazine was alright. here are a few other sources.

shooting incident

joe tex wife UnclePaco (talk) 18:41, 7 January 2008 (UTC)


Can somesone correct the vandalism on the article first paragraph? I am technically challanged on looking up the huge code that comes up when I try to edit the page. ADS (talk) 23:47, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Reverted and user warned (see User talk: ... richi (talk) 23:49, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


Template:NAME is the name

Brown-Hynie Controversy

The article didn't state Ms. Nynie's full name. (talk) 02:42, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Angel dust

Isn't Brown's addiction to PCP part of his biography? Of all the drugs out there, it's kind of a peculiar and unusually destructive one. See obit in "The Idependent" (

"In 1982, Brown had met his third wife, Adrianne Rodriguez, a make-up artist. They seemed to bond over the highly dangerous, psychosis-provoking chemical PCP - "angel dust". Their private drug life became public and all hell broke loose. In March 1987, Brown was charged with aggravated assault and intent to murder his wife. Later that year he was chased by police, guns blazing, from Georgia into South Carolina. ... In 1998 Brown was sentenced to 90 days in a drug rehabilitation centre."

Our description of the 1987 police chase here seems tendentious, in implying that nothing was involved except police harrassment. (talk) 15:01, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Is A References In Pop Culture Section Really Necessary?

This was on the article's to do list and I think that anything resembling this sort of section will read like useless trivia which is disapproved of by the Wiki guidelines. If it's really necessary I suggest we just space this information throughout the article where appropriate. K.H (talk) 18:52, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

The Night JB Saved Boston Reference

WGBH of Boston (Ch. 2) recently ran this documentary during one of their telethons. It was a great film. I'd recommend it and I'm not a huge fan of JB. I don't think VH1 should be noted in the reference, all they did was air it, like any other channel could. Also I beleive some of the quotes from this documentary are a bit off. The article here says he was paid 15K but during the documentary JB's manager states that they only received 10K. If anyone recorded it or owns this, maybe we can get this section cleaned up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:45, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

I actually don't know that the information about "The Vault" was in the documentary. Having just watched it (admittedly not entirely thoroughly) I never saw them mentioned. And the tone used to describe the incident is definitely slanted against JB. Someone who has editing power over this page should correct this, and make sure that this doc is not simply used as an easy way to cast aspertions on JB. Rhinocycle (talk) 04:45, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Reoccurring vandalism

Suggest page protection here because of constant vandalism which makes both the article & Wikipedia look bad. (talk) 17:47, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

There's not that much vandalism for a high profile article like this. Be sure the page is on many watchlists and will be protected as soon as there's a higher level of attacks.--Avant-garde a clue-hexaChord2 19:01, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Respectfully suggest again page protection here. The type and frequency of the vandalism here is an embarassment to Wikipedia. (talk) 18:40, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I reported it: [6] --Avant-garde a clue-hexaChord2 19:23, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Now see: [7] --Avant-garde a clue-hexaChord2 20:23, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Infobox picture

James Brown 2001.jpg

Is there a better picture than that? I don't think the toilet signs are too favorable...--Avant-garde a clue-hexaChord2 18:59, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree wholeheartedly. (talk) 23:05, 3 March 2009 (UTC)


Band Members and other supporting players

I'm wondering if there should be a section about the significant musicians and others associated with James Brown's various bands and the recording sessions. It's something I would like to know more about. Who wrote all the horn arrangements over the years, how did the band work out parts and so on. Also, on the recording side, similar information as to producers, engineers and others involved. Calicocat (talk)

Main Picture Oddity

Does anybody else think it's strange that there's a woman's handicapped bathroom sign on stage with James Brown? I'm sure this is the original picture, but if it is not - this may be a form of sneaky Photoshop vandalism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:27, 1 June 2009 (UTC)