Credit: Spiegel & GrauA new biography on the life and times of The Godfather of Soul is coming this spring.
Titled Kill ‘Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul, the new tome is written by bestselling novelist and musician James McBride and will be released by Spiegel & Grau Hardcover on April 5.
For the book, which marks McBride’s first turn at non-fiction, the author became a part of the story hitting the road to interview those closest to Brown — many of whom have never spoken on record before. He headed to the country town where Brown’s family was among thousands displaced by America’s largest nuclear power bomb-making facility and to a South Carolina field where a long-forgotten cousin divulges a fuller history of Brown’s sharecropping childhood.
McBride sought out the American expatriate in England who co-created the James Brown sound, visited the trusted right-hand manager who worked with Brown for more than 40 years, and sat at the feet of Brown’s most influential non-musical creation — his “adopted son,” the Reverend Al Sharpton.
McBride also recounts Michael Jackson’s stirring visit to the Augusta, Georgia, funeral home where the King of Pop sat up all night with the body of his musical godfather.
The National Book Award winner is that author of The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother, Miracle at St. Anna, Song Yet Sung and The Good Lord Bird.
As a musician and composer, McBride has toured with Little Jimmy Scott and penned songs for Anita Baker and Grover Washington, Jr. among others.
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