The Godfather of Soul

On James Brown’s birthday, we highlight four places to find the Godfather of Soul in the Digital Library of Georgia (and one YouTube bonus):

1. The New Georgia Encyclopedia – Don’t know much about James Brown? This is a good place to start. Although he was born in Barnwell, South Carolina, he was a Georgian through and through. He spent most of his life in and around Augusta, Georgia, where a street is named for him and a statue stands in his honor. The image below is included in the article courtesy of the Atlanta University Center, Robert W. Woodruff Library Archives.

2. The Red and Black Newspaper Archive – Included here is an article from the April 30, 1968 issue of the Red & Black (the University of Georgia’s student newspaper) announcing a benefit concert he held in Athens to benefit underpriveleged children. Can you imagine seeing Soul Brother Number One for the ticket price of only $3.50? What a deal! There are many other news articles related to James Brown in the archive and can be searched by keyword.

3. Georgia Government Publications – This is a December 28, 2006 press release from Georgia governor Sonny Perdue regarding the death of James Brown, who had passed away a few days earlier on Christmas.

4. African American Funeral Programs from the East Central Georgia Regional Library – James Brown’s funeral was held in the James Brown Arena in Augusta, Georgia and was officiated by the Reverend Al Sharpton. The program includes images, an obituary, an order of service, and even a list of his many sayings including: “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.”

5. James Brown YouTube Concert Clip – They don’t call him the Hardest Working Man in Show Business for nothing. Check out this clip of him performing Good Foot in concert in the early 1970s. It’ll blow your mind.


A look back at World War I

Frank Buckles misrepresented his age to recruiters in 1917 because the 16-year-old yearned for the adventure of warfare. His service in “the war to end all wars” left him with a fresh understanding of the horror. News that Buckles passed away Sunday at 110 years old makes  it a fitting time to reflect on what remains in our collective conscience. The Vanishing Georgia Collection contains a number of photos,  mostly depicting  life around the state.


Here is a “bird’s eye view” of a tent city, thought to be Camp Hancock near Augusta.

In Liberty County members of the class of 1918 at State Normal School unveiling the WWI service flag that the students made and presented on the steps of the county Courthouse.

In France, where Frank Buckles served, Georgia boy Tola Harris dons a uniform complete with a chilling gas mask around his neck.

Down in Fitzgerald, WWI Red Cross nurses are seen on a float in front of  the Carnegie Library on S. Lee Street, circa 1918.