Funky First Friday a big hit

By: Lynnsey Gardner Email
By: Lynnsey Gardner Email

May 4, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---They called it Funky First Friday, and it was a huge success tonight in downtown Augusta. Thousands of people come out to remember the Godfather of Soul and celebrate his birthday.

The main attraction at the Augusta Common tonight was James brown's band, the Soul Generals. They took the stage and gave the crowd exactly what it wanted: a Funky First Friday that had everyone feeling good.

Three year old CJ Johnson says he came for one reason: "Because everyone's here!"

And indeed they were. Thousands of people packed the Augusta Common to celebrate the Godfather's birthday.

It was an important night to remember a man who meant so much to Augusta.

"He was a hero," said fan Magdeline Newton. "He was great and he loved Augusta."

"Who don't like James Brown, you know?" said fan Delvin Walters. "He contributed a lot to the community, did a whole lot, and we're here to celebrate it."

Fan Michael Pyatt says he knew James Brown for more than two decades. He brought his whole family out for a birthday celebration he says was fit for a king.

"He's a real good guy, a real nice guy," he said. "And we're just out here to celebrate it with everybody else and all his fans."

His fans and his band did not disappoint. Funky First Friday had everyone on their feet and dancing to the beat.

It was a fun-filled Friday night that fans hope will live on.

"I've been down here for many First Fridays, and this is the most people I've ever seen out here at one time," Pyatt said. "And I hope it continues like this, because this is what we need, to get together like this."

Also tonight, a huge card was presented to members of James Brown's family.

Written in the card was the definition for the word "greatest": "an outstandingly superior or skillful person."

The card was signed by friends and fans of the Godfather of Soul.


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