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Playing Up Augusta's Strengths

"I Played Augusta" could change to focus on the Godfather of Soul.
By Paige Tucker
Friday, August 5, 2005

City leaders say it's all about playing up the city's strengths. And they say Augusta's got more than golf going for it.
We asked people downtown for the dedication of James Brown's statue and a car show what they think Augusta's known for.

1. "What do people think of when you think of Augusta? Masters, everybody thinks of golf."
2. "Probably mostly the Augusta National"
3. "Number one, they probably think of the Masters. But another thing, too, when it comes to entertainment, James Brown."
4. "James Brown. Augusta is James Brown."
5. "I think they call it the Garden City of the South."

The Garden City, golf, and the Godfather of Soul. City leaders say Augusta has much to be proud of and much to market. "Anybody that plays golf knows where Augusta, Georgia, is. Anybody that listens to music knows about James Brown and feeling good. And you play to your strengths, that's two of them we have," says City Administrator Fred Russell.

Interim Mayor Willie Mays says playing up those strengths was just what commissioners had in mind when they voted to adopt the slogan, Augusta: We Feel Good. "Just in general, feeling good about this city. I think there has to be that type of spirit," says Mays.

Augusta's Convention and Visitors Bureau is marketing its own slogan... I Played Augusta. But city leaders say the new slogan isn't meant to replace the old one. "I think they complement each other. It's not a bad thing to feel good and to play the garden city," says Russell.

James Brown's family says the Godfather of Soul is thrilled with the idea. "When I told him, he says, what? Couldn't believe it! It made him feel very good," says Deanna Brown, James' daughter.

Brown says her dad always feels good about Augusta and isn't shy about spreading the word about his hometown. "When he travels around the world, he talks about Augusta."

And many say they talk about him, too.

"When I was in the Navy, people knew him all overseas," says Thomas Wright of Augusta. "James brown is Augusta and he's known throughout the world for the songs he sings," says Russell.?


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