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Listen to The Godfather of Soul speaking about the James Brown Music Festival and its impact on Augusta, GA:
|Issue #18.28 :: 02/08/2007 - 02/14/2007|
Letters to the Editor
TO THE METRO SPIRIT
To the editor:
Last year’s James Brown Music Festival was indeed overshadowed by unprecedented “bad press.” Inordinate attention was paid to Champ Walker, the event’s organizer, instead of focusing on international music legend James Brown himself. Why?
Following so closely upon the federal court proceedings against other Walker family members, it seemed Champ Walker was being presumed guilty by association or kinship. The unusual negativity leading up to the event certainly compounded the festival’s other organizational and logistic problems.
In spite of the controversy surrounding the James Brown Music Festival, I chose to support the event specifically, based on its own merits. The show had to go on, and James Brown, live and in person, saved the day with his performance. He was true to form: hard working.
Needless to say, James Brown will never, ever be back for an encore. Yet, Augusta, Ga., James Brown’s “hometown,” now has a tremendous opportunity to, dare I say, “capitalize” on this world-renowned entertainer’s legacy. These are the merits of the project.
The James Brown Music Festival is an opportunity for Augusta, uniquely. I remain committed to the festival as a tremendously fun and potentially lucrative piece of Augusta’s very colorful puzzle. The second annual event must, however, be much better planned and executed than last year’s. We’ll never get a third chance.
As to Champ Walker: I like him. He’s friendly, articulate, smart and seems quite sincere. His family is beautiful. He’s used to being a “lightning rod.” These are some of my first impressions of him.
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