The story of music in the United States of America is a long and colorful one. With so many different nationalities blending together to form a single nation they’ve all added their own musical traditions to the mix, and the results have been remarkable. Probably the biggest single contribution has come from the African-American community. Rhythms developed from traditional African music have evolved into several new genres and influenced many more. From jazz to the blues, from hip-hop to hard rock, almost everything in popular music has its roots in the churches and music clubs of the American South. One of the most talented and determined performers of the 20th century, without a doubt, was James Brown.
Born into appalling poverty in the rural south, the man who’d later be known as Soul Brother #1 showed musical ability at an early age. Unfortunately it looked like it would be squandered when he turned to a life of street crime, ending up sentenced to a lengthy prison term at the age of sixteen. A chance meeting and a willingness to work hard earned him a second chance – and he made the most of it.
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