James Brown's daughter plans 'Get on the Good Foot Walk' to honor father's birthday, inspire youth

James Brown Academy of Music

The second annual "Get On The Good Foot Walk" is Saturday. All funds will benefit the young boys and girls in JAMP. (WRDW-TV / May 3, 2012)

News 12 First at Five / Thursday, May 3, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The Godfather of Soul's family is celebrating James Brown's birthday this week. They are marking the occasion by inspiring a new generation of musicians.

The James Brown Academy of Music Pupils is having a foot-tapping good time this week. The group, ranging in age from 7 to 17, is also known as the JAMP Masters.

"We call them the hardest-working kids in showbiz," said Academy Administrator Kimberly Baxter Lee.

They spend six days a week in class learning everything from music theory to stage presence.

"[They stay from 8 o'clock in the morning until 8 in the evening sometimes," she said.

It is all thanks to Deanna Brown Thomas who has decided to celebrate her father's birthday each year by inspiring a new generation of musicians.

"All of us kids can be together," said JAMP Master Jonathan Mosely. "It keeps us out of bad things like drugs, alcohol and things like that. We are here instead out on the streets."

Deanna plans to hit streets to raise more money to help the group stay on the good foot. The second annual "Get on the Good Foot Walk" is Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at the Augusta Common. There is a $5 registration fee. All funds will benefit the young boys and girls in JAMP. James Brown's former band members are also holding a free concert on Friday at Sky City at 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, Deanna is celebrating a recent win in court. James Brown's former manager has lost an appeal challenging a court's order that he pay legal bills for an attorney representing some of the late soul singer's children. The South Carolina Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court's ruling that David Cannon pay bills of about $90,000 charged by Atlanta attorney Louis Levenson.

"Thank you God," Deanna said. "It is good to have nice things happen around my dad's birthday."

James Brown would have been 79 years old.


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