The Original

Texas Boogie King

Locals remember a special side to The Godfather of Soul James Brown

Music legend James Brown died on Christmas day at an Atlanta hospital. He was 73. Bakersfield musician and teacher Nat Dove recalls Brown not only as a musical pioneer who influenced many, but Brown had a special side not always seen by everyone.

"I met James Brown in 1955 in Houston, Texas. He was getting a little bit of air play of his first recording, 'Please, Please, Please," recalls Nat Dove.

An accomplished blues musician himself, Dove is executive director of Bakersfield Blues Preservation Society. Dove was dozing off early Sunday morning when he heard the news report that James Brown, The Godfather of Soul had died of heart failure at an Atlanta hospital.

"It affected me," said Dove. Perhaps because Dove had seen a side of James Brown few had the opportunity to witness. Having played on the same bill as the legendary performer, Dove recalls Brown as someone who was more than just an entertainer who created a whole new sound.

"I know many things that James did personally that were really indicative of his humanitarian traits," said Dove. The music world can be rough on musicians who fall on hard times. Dove recalls one of James Brown's band members becoming paralyzed and couldn't perform anymore.

"James kept him on salary for years, and that was unheard of in the music business," said Dove.