December 30, 2006
AUGUSTA, Ga.---Fans from across the country came out to show their support for the Godfather of Soul.
It was a very spirited group. People were sharing memories, singing and dancing, and even dressing up like James Brown...all to show how much he meant to them. There were fans from across the world, across the country, and right here at home.
"I've known James Brown since I was a little girl in Uganda, Africa," said Sarah Cherry.
"He's just done so much. He's such a leader, such an icon," said Davie Childs of Silver Springs, Maryland.
"I like the way he danced, and I like the way he take care of the children every year," said one fan.
"He was a musician pioneer and he left a lot for older generations as well as younger," said another.
They all joined together to remember an entertainer, a friend, and an inspiration.
"I've been with his music for years and [the funeral] really helped me out quite a bit," said Clinton Pruitt of Atlanta.
"He was a little guy physically but a big man in terms of his politics, and what he did for the average guy," said Sonya Childs, also of Silver Springs.
Some showed their love by showing a memory: the chair the Godfather used when he started out in downtown Augusta, shining shoes.
"He was one of my idols," said Macache Luke of Savannah.
Some remembered his moves.
"We love James Brown...hey!" said Rosetta Wiley of Augusta, breaking out into dance.
Others did more than dance--they dressed like the Godfather.
"I love him, he inspired me," said Albert Porter of Columbia, in full James Brown garb. "I hope one day to be like him."
Memories go beyond talent to how he made people feel.
"He is into his people. He don't let us down. He stand up for us, he make us feel proud, and we love him," said Lorraine Willis of Savannah.
"I couldn't even understand what he was saying, but I knew he was black and proud," Cherry said.
Everyone we talked to was very eager to share their feelings about the Godfather. Each person said it goes beyond music. They said black or white, he loved everybody...and that's why he's such an inspiration to them.