Arts / Entertainment

St. John
St. Thomas
St. Croix

Things to do
Movies
Music
Showcase
 

GOVERNMENT & POLICE NEWS

DOH Urges Business Owners to Renew Health Permits

Effective Feb, 23, 2015, the Department of Health (VIDOH) health permits that allow individuals to serve the general public are…

Audio Galleries

Gov. John deJongh Jr. offers News Years wishes, and thanks to the people of the Virgin Islands for the honor of electing him to serve as their governor.

 
Currently:Click for Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands Forecast

Source Picks

UVI Play Portrays St. Croix Native and Activist Hubert Harrison

St. Croix native Hubert Harrison is widely considered a leader in the movement for equality and justice for African Americans during the early 20th Century. Harrison worked closely with W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey and other activists, but he never received the acclaim of those leaders.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
2015-02-28 22:03:39
Cuba Diary: Country of Contrasts, Complications and Contradictions

The Source publisher recently traveled to Cuba with a delegation from The Nation magazine. This is the first in a series of articles that offer her first-hand cultural and educational experiences.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
2015-02-26 23:42:32
Folklife Festival Draws Huge Crowd

Hundreds of school children and a large contingent of tourists filled Annaberg Plantation on Thursday as the V.I. National Park kicked off its 24th annual Folklife Festival.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
2015-02-26 23:07:34
Showcase — St. Thomas
CommentLog in or Register to CommentE-mailE-MAILPrintPRINT
The Bookworm Says: Hum Along to ‘The One’

“The One: The Life and Music of James Brown” by RJ Smith
©2012, Gotham Books $27.50 464 pages

No matter what you do, you couldn’t seem to sit still.

First, your foot started bouncing and your head joined it. Wasn’t long before your shoulders were wiggling like they weren’t attached to your spine and then you were on your feet, shaking your back-end in time with the music.

Advertising (skip)

The tunes you grew up with can do that to you. But you can blame it on the beat, as you’ll see in the new book “The One: The Life and Music of James Brown” by RJ Smith.

James Brown was never supposed to live.

For most of his life, he bragged that when he entered the world in May 1933 he was born dead but his Aunt Minnie blew into his lungs and brought him back to life. That and the abandonment of his mother were two of his most-repeated stories – although the latter was only partially true.

Brown was born in North Carolina, but his father moved the family to Augusta, Ga., in the late 1930s in search of a better life. They settled in The Terry, which was shorthand for “The Negro Territory,” where black-owned businesses thrived. One of the businesses was a cathouse run by Brown’s “Aunt Honey.” She gave the boy a roof over his head, but she also beat him regularly.

Violence was, in fact, a way of life for James Brown. His parents fought often and, growing up, Brown considered himself a thug. He was known for his fearlessness and fast fists (he was briefly a boxer) and for his love of firearms. In later years, the Rev. Al Sharpton recalled that Brown often carried a gun.

Despite his tough streak, Brown was known to be gracious and people loved him. He was a savvy womanizer who knew how to play an audience, whether it was one or one hundred thousand. He knew that theatre was what people wanted, and he gave it to them – but there was more to James Brown than capes and curls.

He was very politically active and counted presidents among his friends. He worked hard on matters of civil rights and once “saved” a city from being ruined by riots. Generous even in his last days, he was helping charity organizations when he died in December 2006.

How much more than music is there to a man? “The One” (so-titled for James Brown’s beat-count) tells us, and it’s a good story.

Author RJ Smith brings his readers a sweeping and grand biography of the Godfather of Soul, and Smith lets us see the good and the bad in that life. Though this book can be a little longish at times, I really liked the behind-the-scenes tales of the James Brown that younger fans might not know. Smith shows that there was a deeper Brown than what’s seen on old video clips, and that made me smile.

If you’re up for a bio that will make you hum along, then “The One” is the one you want. Read this book and you’ll feel good!

The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 12,000 books. Her self-syndicated book reviews appear in more than 260 newspapers.

Read more stories in Showcase»»