Kill 'Em and Leave - Searching for the Real James Brown
The definitive biography of the soul legend James Brown by National Book Award-winning novelist James McBride
The music of James Brown was almost a genre in its own right, and he was one of the biggest and most influential cultural figures of the twentieth century. But the singer known as the 'Hardest Working Man in Show Business' was also an immensely troubled, misunderstood and complicated man. Award-winning writer James McBride, himself a professional musician, has undertaken a journey of discovery in search of the 'real' James Brown, delving into the heartbreaking saga of Brown's childhood and destroyed estate, and uncovering the hidden history of Brown's early years.
But this book is more than the story of the larger-than-life soul genius. It is an acutely insightful account of the racism and Southern culture which both produced and destroyed James Brown, a portrait of the musicians who created the 'James Brown sound' yet were lost to history, a nuanced appreciation of what made Brown's music so special, and a series of conversations with the friends and protégés whose lives were changed by the 'Godfather of Soul'.
Vividly written and thoroughly researched, James McBride has crafted a deeply personal story of a man and a legend.
'McBride, who is a musician as well as the award-winning author of The Color of Water and The Good Lord Bird, is the perfect biographer for Brown, finding universal American themes in the musician's life story: the divide between the North and South, rich and poor, and black and white. McBride also delves into the legal battles over Brown's estate, a subject that sounds so complicated and epic that it could probably warrant its own book' -- themillions.com
James McBride is the author of the National Book Award winner and New York Times bestseller The Good Lord Bird, the bestselling novels Song Yet Sung and Miracle at St Anna, and the No. 1 New York Times bestseller The Color of Water, which has sold more than two million copies. He is also a saxophonist and composer who teaches music to children in the Red Hook Brooklyn housing projects where he was born, and a professor of journalism at NYU.