On October 24, 1962, breakthrough artist James Brown recorded his legendary album, Live at the Apollo.
Believe it or not, there was an era of music which did not involve YouTube stars and iTunes downloads. It was the era of the live act. When people said, “They’re no good live,” and it meant they were no good – period.
In 1962, rock n’ roll was giving black artists a chance to shine within a historically segregated industry. New styles were being formed daily, and music genres were being meshed together to create exciting new sounds. James Brown, who was refereed to as “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” created his appeal through incredible live performances, rather than top-40 charts.
He was such a perfectionist that he became known for fining his own band for mistakes. During the recording of Live at the Apollo – fines were planned to be quadrupled… This dude was serious.
Brown financed the production of the live album himself after being denied by King Records. Instead of having a great performance, Brown and the Famous Flames had a legendary one. The famously quiet crowd at the Apollo was hysterical.
With moves like this, how could it not be? (This 70s crowd stinks!)
Live at the Apollo went on to stay on the Billboard charts for 66 weeks, and became the group’s first smash-hit album. James Brown went on to become one of the most successful recording artists in the history of the music industry. Live at the Apollo was chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry in 2004. James Brown is still known as the “Godfather of Funk,” and rightfully so.
So thankfully, if our civilization crumbles, someone… will find this collection of pure, unadulterated funk.