JAMES BROWN CONCERT QUIETS BOSTON IN AFTERMATH OF KING ASSASSINATION 45 YEARS AGO TONIGHT
Boston, Massachusetts (JFK+50) James Brown*, the godfather of soul music, appeared in a live televised concert here in Boston 45 years ago tonight, April 5, 1968.
*James Brown (1933-2006) was born in Barnwell, South Carolina & grew up in poverty in nearby Elko. He began his musical career in 1945 & later performed with "The Famous Flames."
On October 24, 1962, Brown's "Live at the Apollo" album sold a million copies. His 1st Top 10 single record, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" won him a Grammy.
The Apollo Pays Tribute to James Brown
Photo by Benjamen Walker
from New York, USA.
The previously scheduled concert was held despite a night of violence in the city following the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee.
Boston's young mayor, Kevin White, thought about cancelling the Brown concert because of concerns about violence but was convinced by councilman Tom Atkins that if the concert was performed on free live television, it would help to keep people at home & off the streets.
WGBH televised the concert live from the Boston Garden**. James Brown dedicated the performance to the memory of Dr. King.
The city of Boston "saw less crime...than would be expected on a...normal Friday in April."
**Boston Garden opened on November 17, 1928 atop North Station. It was the site of a speech by JFK in November 1960 & was home to the Boston Celtics professional basketball team. BG was demolished in 1998.
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