"A product of the complicated history of the American South, James Brown was a cultural shape-shifter who arguably had the greatest influence of any artist on American popular music. Brown was long a figure of fascination for James McBride, a noted professional musician as well as a writer. When he received a tip that promised to uncover the man behind the myth, McBride set off to follow a trail to better understand the personal, musical, and societal influences that created this immensely troubled, misunderstood, and complicated soul genius."--flyleaf. McBride shows that Brown's rough-and-tumble life is an unsettling metaphor for American life: the tension between North and South, black and white, rich and poor. From the forgotten corners of the country town where Brown's family was among those displaced by America's largest nuclear power bomb-making facility to the Augusta, Georgia, funeral home where the Michael Jackson sat up all night with the body of his musical godfather, you'll come to understand Brown through McBride's own insights as a black musician with Southern roots.
Foreword: The buzz Countin' off. Mystery house ; Cussin' and fussin' ; American jive Hit it! The vapors ; Six Gaines ; Leaving the land ; Bro ; To live standing ; The last flame ; The Rev ; The money man ; The earth beneath his feet ; More money ; The hundred-dollar man ; The rag that nobody reads ; Sis Quit it! Say goodbye to the king ; The dream Epilogue: Sister Lee.