James Brown - Live at the Apollo

Wednesday at 4:14 PM

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"Brown personally funded the recording of his Wednesday night show at The Apollo on October 24th, 1962. He and the Flames had been there all week already, and Brown was counting on the raucous crowds who showed for amateur night to give him the kind of support he knew Nathan couldn't ignore. For his part, Nathan had reluctantly sent one of his people to supervise the recording, but could hardly have expected it to result in this album. It's more than a little strange to think King had originally issued Live at the Apollo with canned applause and screams because not only were the Apollo faithful in full "support" of Brown's revue, that night has gone down in rock and soul history as arguably the finest live performance ever captured on record. Not bad for a guy who'd been one flop away from failure only a few years earlier.

Live at the Apollo was issued in 1963 and became an instant hit. Not only did it satisfy Brown's small legion of diehard fans-- to the tune of being played in its entirety during the evenings on some R&B; radio stations-- for the first time, it brought the undeniably intense celebration of his live show to young audiences throughout the country. This might not have been very important in another era, but just as Live at the Apollo can be seen as a symbolic transformation of R&B; into Soul, for a myriad of events, 1963 marked the dawn of a decade when sharing experiences and points of view across an entire culture meant more than just crossover success. It was the true beginning of the 60s, and Brown's half-hour Wednesday night set figures no less prominently than Dylan bringing protest music to the masses or The Beatles arriving in America the following year as musical signposts for A New Day."


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