Friday, May 14, 2010
Try listening to some James Brown without catching yourself starting to move, or at least wanting to. I dare you!
And when you're done with that, you might enjoy, as a change of pace, this performance of "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" by the Godfather of Soul and Luciano Pavarotti. Yes. The very thought sounded weird to me, too, at first, but it works really well.
Obviously from the above, I listened to some James Brown earlier in the week and really enjoyed it. As I often do in such circumstances, I decided to learn more, and encountered the following interesting fact about the man also known as "The Hardest-Working Man in Show Business:"
Brown also had a practice of directing, correcting and assessing fines on members of his band who broke his rules, such as wearing unshined shoes, dancing out of sync or showing up late on stage. During some of his concert performances, Brown danced in front of his band with his back to the audience as he slid across the floor, flashing hand signals and splaying his pulsating fingers to the beat of the music. Although audiences thought Brown's dance routine was part of his act, this practice was actually his way of pointing to the offending member of his troupe who played or sang the wrong note or committed some other infraction. Brown used his splayed fingers and hand signals to alert the offending person of the fine that person must pay to him for breaking his rules. [minor edits]I don't think I spotted that in the above clip, but I'll keep an eye out for it from now on, and I'll get a good chuckle if I see it.