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Last Updated: Monday, 25 December 2006, 14:54 GMT
'Massive impact' of Brown's music
Legendary funk musician James Brown has died at the age of 73, ending a career which spanned 50 years.

BBC Radio 2 presenter Bob Harris told BBC News 24 how he would remember the star, who was dubbed the "Godfather of Soul".

He had an absolutely massive musical impact as a musician, but also as a figurehead, really, for his generation and for black people in America in general, particularly in the '60s.

You look back at some of the great black music figures - Otis Redding, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, people like this.

James Brown in 2001
Brown, known for hits such as I Got You (I Feel Good), died on Monday
James Brown really was in a category of his own.

He had a very complex domestic life.

He had been sent to prison two or three times during the course of his career. He dabbled pretty heavily in drugs.

But the thing about James Brown - he was an incredibly driven performer, and he was very aware of being James Brown and the figure that he was.

In fact, he insisted that everybody referred to him as Mr Brown. You were not allowed to call him James.

So this was a strong person with a strong sense of himself.


He was known as the hardest working man in showbusiness and he was one of the first people to introduce synchronised dancing on stage.

There was that amazing act of his where towards the end of the set, he'd fall to the floor as if exhausted.

Bob Harris
Harris is known as a Radio 2 DJ and for TV's The Old Grey Whistle Test
They'd put a cape around him, they'd be leading him off and suddenly he was back at the front of the stage.

He would go through this sequence at the end of the set several times - but you believed it.

You believed he would be exhausted because he would put so much energy into his live performances.

I was due to meet him [last month] because he was over in London being inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame.

He did a performance at the Roundhouse, which I was due to introduce that evening, but for various reasons I was unable to.

That would have been the one time that I had met him.


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