James Brown


The sudden loss of Chadwick Boseman was a horrible shock this weekend. We loved him as James Brown in Get On Up! before he did Black Panther Chadwick was only 43, but he had accomplished a LOT in his short life. Sad to think how sick he was during most of his career. He’s pictured here with Mick Jagger, whose Production Company was responsible for Get On Up! Mick loved Chadwick’s performance in the film.

Photo Credit: BACKGRID-USA



Get On Up! is one of the best movies of the year! And who ISN’T a fan of James Brown’s music? We never realized what a dreadful childhood Brown endured – he was thrust into adulthood with no education and limited knowledge of ethics. Yet he went on to become of the greatest all time entertainers. Chadwick Boseman captures Brown perfectly and played him from the ages of 17 to 63. His hairstyles and wardrobe are perfection. We were lucky to meet James Brown backstage after a performance during the 60’s in the south side of Chicago. (During the show we caught the turquoise rhinestone cufflink he threw to the audience. And we still have it. ) Backstage, James’ southern accent was difficult to understand, but he was friendly and showed us his wardrobe and his beauty secrets, including pink foam hair rollers. He always wore Cuban heel boots and high hair because he was short. Boseman didn’t need the heels because he’s 6 feet tall. This is a fascinating story of Brown’s contradictory behavior and many political and cultural issues of the era are covered. And it’s hard to resist dancing in the aisles!





This James Brown biopic “Get On Up!” that’s being produced by Mick Jagger and Brian Grazer, sounds really fascinating. They’re now filming in Natchez, Mississippi, and Mick has been seen around town by startled locals. Chadwick Boseman (who starred as Jackie Robinson in “42”) is playing James, and we assume he’s mastered the art of doing the splits. Hair will be a significant part of this movie and that reminds us of a story. Back in the 60’s, James Brown appeared at a theater on the South Side of Chicago. We couldn’t WAIT to see him. When he threw his rhinestone cufflinks into the screaming audience, we caught one and still have it. The best part is, we went backstage after the show to meet him and he couldn’t have been nicer. He proudly showed us his amazing wardrobe. His hair was sopping wet from performing and he nonchalantly rolled it up in pink foam curlers and sat under a hair dryer so it would be fluffy for the next show. He was a fast talker and a hard worker and we loved him and memorized his dance moves.

the secret to james brown's bouffant hair did not die with him

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Christie’s auctioned off James Brown’s estate and his family wasn’t thrilled with the results. Among the 317 items up for sale were Brown’s fabulous wardrobe of jumpsuits, capes, and boots, along with his trophies, leather couches, and even his Walk of Fame star. Everything brought high prices but the total take was $857,688 – about half of what was expected. Our personal favorite item was brown’s 1960’s salon hair dryer. When we met him backstage at Chicago’s Regal theater, he and his pink foam rollers were under that dryer. It went for $10,625.


Afer two months of suspended animation, James Brown has been buried at an undisclosed location, and his wife Tomi Rae Hynie seems to have settled in Los Angeles. We’re told she is staying with some generous and wealthy friends and has enrolled James Jr in an LA school. There’s no doubt that James Jr is the music legend’s son – his teachers marvel at how much he resembles his famous dad, and he is said to have many mannerisms and physical moves just like James Sr. In other words, he’s inherited all that funky choreogaphy.


We had no idea what Tomi Rae Hynie went through to keep her man James Brown happy. An insider from the Brown camp revealed that James, 72, liked his women “to look a certain way.” If his wife or girlfriend had beauty flaws, James insisted they do somethng about it. He felt he had a reputation to maintain and didn’t want a fat unattractive female partner. – he wanted a “trophy wife.” That’s why he encouraged his exwive Adrienne to have liposuction – unfortunately she died while recovering. James was devastated and Tomi, 36, came along just in time to save him from despair. But Tomi wan’t perfect either so James spent $60,000 to fine- tune her looks. She had breast augmentation, lip augmentation, liposuction, her cheeks and chin done, her brow lifted and her teeth redone. Most of the work was done in the last year or so and she became dependent on painkillers. She’s been through a lot and now she’s shut out of the house and James’ will, it seems. We hope she has a smart lawyer – she deserves her share.


We are horrified that James Brown might have inadvertantly started a tasteless trend. Everywhere we looked for the past few days – from online to newspapers to television – we have been greeted by pictures of dead James Brown lying in his casket. Whether we WANTED to see it or NOT! Tame celebrity shows including The Insider showed me, against my will, pictures of James Brown’s dead body.. Since when did it become okay to reveal deceased celebrities laid out in their caskets? At one time only The Enquirer would do such a tasteless thing. We’re sure that James, always fussy about his appearance, would NOT have appreciated this. We’re afraid James has opened he door to a parade of dead celebrities in the future.


A friend of ours who used to write for Rolling Stone told us an amusing story about the recently departed James Brown. It was back in the early 80’s and this reporter called James to ask his opinion of the new sensation Prince, who was being compared to him. Prince‘s shiny suits, pompadour hair, and melodramatic songs were reminiscent of early James Brown. When our reporter got James on the phone and brought up Prince, Brown didn’t hold back. “He’s a skinny imitation of me!” growled the Godfather of Soul. “HE RIPPED ME OFF!” The moves, the style, the hair – I did it all first!” We don’t know if James became more politically correct later on, but he had no love for Prince back then.


We’re shocked by the sudden loss of James Brown, but we’ll never forget the day we spent with him. It was back in the 60’s in Chicago and we were HUGE fans. When it was announced that he would appear at the Regal theater on the South Side of Chicago, we could hardly wait. The Regal was like the Apollo theater in New York – it catered to the black audience and featured the best musical acts of the era. James Brown always drew long lines. Visions of his shiny tight silk suits, pompadour hair and amazing moves, plus that big orchestra, danced in our heads as we got in line in the rain IN THE MORNING at the Regal. In those days we were the only white people there. Brown performed several shows a day with a movie in between. You paid once and could stay all day! We sat through the movie several times and were able to move up to the front for Brown’s evening show. He did the camel walk and the splits. The audience was shrieking and swooning as he fell to his knees wailing and his cape guy came out and wrapped him up. He tossed his rhinestone cufflinks into the adoring audience and we managed to GRAB one (which we still have to this day.) After the exhausting show, we finagled our way backstage, determined to meet our idol. James couldn’t have been nicer. We were surprised that he was wearing pink foam rollers in his hair – and was about to go under the hair dryer to prepare for his next show. We talked about his silk suits, he introduced us around , offered us food, and gave us an autographed photo before we left. It was an unforgettable day. We expect to see Eddie Murphy at the funeral.