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Rapp on Jazz: James Brown

Jazz has many fathers, and has fathered many children in the musical family tree. Mingled in the roots and branches of that tree is soul music — and we in South Carolina lay claim to the very "Godfather of Soul," James Brown.

Born in 1933 in Barnwell, SC, Brown became one of the seminal figures in 20th century music. Starting as a gospel singer in the 1950s, he moved to rhythm and blues with the group The Famous Flames as lead singer.

He soon became the headliner, and in the 1960s hit the stratosphere with what is considered one of the great albums of all time, "Live at the Apollo." Brown's hits like "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and "Sex Machine" defined an era, and he is often credited as the creator of funk music.

James Brown passed away at his home in South Carolina in 2006.

This has been Rapp on Jazz, a co-production of the ColaJazz Foundation and SC Public Radio. Support for this program is made possible in part by Fox Music House of Columbia and Charleston.