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JANUARY 03, 2007
Debate: Did Gerald Ford Cheat James Brown?

Jamesgerald At the end of last year (it seems sooo long ago now, doesn't it?), America lost two icons -- one musical, the other political. James Brown died first (and somewhat suddenly) on Christmas Day. America was stunned, saddened and focused on the death of this genius who had one of the biggest impacts on the musical landscape. The next day, headlines screamed that Gerald Ford -- at 93 and who had been sick -- died as well.

As soon as Ford died, the media seemingly lost interest in James Brown and focused completely on funeral arrangements for Ford, interviewing anybody and everybody who knew the onetime half-term president who wasn't even elected (he wasn't even chosen as a VP -- he was sworn in under the terms of the 25th Amendment after Spiro Agnew resigned). Sure, troops were withdrawn from Vietnam during his term, but Ford was also heavily criticized for pardoning Richard Nixon. James Brown influenced countless musicians and singers -- gospel, rock, R&B, soul, funk -- during the last 50 years.

So, two questions:

1) Was the media correct to drop coverage of James Brown and turn its collective attention to Gerald Ford?
2) Which of these men had a bigger impact on the zeitgeist of America?

weigh in.

| | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)



I'm so glad you wrote this. I couldn't agree more. Granted, nothing against Gerald Ford, he was a good man who took a shitty situation and worked with it as much as he could, but James Brown was a revolutionary. He was a genius and changed the way music as people knew was being put together. His live shows were a force to recon with, his songs were unbelieveable, and he paved the way for hundreds and hundreds of artists to come. I don't remember who said this quote, but I remember reading it when he died. It went something to the effect of: "James Brown was soul. James Brown was disco. James Brown was funk. James Brown was rap. Even before these styles of music gained popularity, James Brown was all of them."

Damn straight.

Eric Secret

great post here. i am continuing your debate on my blog. I posted links to this post and of course, have you in my blog roll. Keep up the sparkley wonderful posts.

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