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Say It Loud: The Genius Of James Brown

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On View - Nov 13, 2011 - Nov 13, 2011

“Say It Loud: The Genius of James Brown” focuses on James Brown as the “Godfather of Soul” — blazing a trail in American music by blending gospel, pop, and soul. The exhibit depicts Brown’s role as a trendsetter in both fashion and dance, and illustrates how Brown used his music and celebrity to positively impact the Civil Rights Movement and race relations of the 1960’s.

Bringing together dozens of diverse artifacts, rare photographs, and more, the exhibit features items from the private collection of the Brown family. On display, visitors will see a broad array of items including:

  • Stage costumes worn by brown, including one of his famous capes and cowboy boots
  • Early albums
  • Rare photographs of Brown both on and off stage
  • Handwritten lyrics
  • Ticket stubs
  • Concert posters
  • Tour books
  • Fan memorabilia


Additionally, The GRAMMY Museum has obtained interviews from artists and musicians who have worked with or have been influenced by Brown, sharing their perspectives on the role that he played in transforming R&B music into soul and the influence he had on fashion and culture. Featured footage includes conversations with Bootsy Collins, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, T.A.M.I. Show Director Steve Binder, Chuck D, and many more.

“The amount of artists who list James Brown as a major influence is incredible,” said Santelli. “From his activism in the Civil Rights Movement of the sixties to being a major player in the Blaxploitation craze in the seventies to his obvious contributions to Hip-Hop — it’s no wonder why James Brown is the world’s most sampled recording artist of all-time.”

“Say It Loud: The Genius of James Brown” will remain on display in The GRAMMY Museum’s Special Exhibits Gallery now through February 13, 2012.

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