James Brown once said of Elvis Presley, “He taught white America to get down.” Brown himself did Elvis one better in that regard: he encouraged everyone to do it. Brown, an indefatigable performer who still maintains a grueling touring schedule for has fine-tuned funk revue, has earned many titles over the years.
He’s been called “the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business.” As an impoverished child of the Depression, Brown picked cotton, shined shoes and danced for spare change on the streets. He also served time in a reformatory and tried his hand at boxing and baseball. When a leg injury put an end to his big-league pitching aspirations, Brown turned to music.