JAMES BROWN ‘STAR TIME’ LINER NOTES: My contribution to the 1992 Grammy Award winning notes on an essential box set

Last week, on May 7, was the 40th anniversary of the release of the James Brown ‘Star Time’ boxed. The package of seventy-two songs is the definitive collection of of the Godfather’s trailblazing music and band. Along with archivists Harry Weinger, ex-Brown aide Alan Leeds, critic Cliff White, and Brown himself, I contributed liner notes that won an Grammy award in 1992. I haven’t read them in years, but thought it would be fun to re-post them to celebrate the anniversary of the package’s release. No digital copy exist, so I had to go the source. Weinger lead the archival team with Leeds consulting. Leeds wrote a piece about his years working with Brown which, in a sense, previewed his recently published book about Brown, ‘There Was a Time’. Weinger and White collaborated on a long essay about the musical journey ‘Star Time’ documents. Not only do I hope you enjoy the notes, but if you don’t have this 74 track collection do yourself a favor and buy a copy. The genius of Brown, Bobby Byrd, Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, Clyde Stubblefield, Bootsy Collins and all the JBs can be heard in the deepest funk and soul tracks ever recorded. (I just purchased a fresh copy at Aomeba Records in San Francisco, so support brick and mortar shops!)

Author and filmmaker. Current books: a novel, The Darkest Hearts (Akashic); music collection The Nelson George Mixtape (Pacific) www.pacificpacific.pub.

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