James Brown's burial site still in question

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January 2, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Where James Brown will be buried remains a mystery. Sources close to the family say they are still deciding.

Augusta got a chance to say goodbye to the Godfather of Soul on Saturday (December 31, 2006) in a star-studded funeral.

The Rev. Al Sharpton has been working with the family on making a final decision on where to bury the entertainer. He's expected back into town this evening.

Meanwhile, fans favor turning his estate into a Graceland-type museum.

Days after "homegoing" services for entertainer James Brown, fans continue to crowd his life-sized statue as the family works on deciding where to bury the music legend.

Augustan Pat Greene encourages the family to take their time.

"I think they should be very particular where they bury Mr. Brown," he said.

Civil rights leader and James Brown's good friend Rev. Al Sharpton is expected back in town to help the family decide a final resting place.

The Godfather of Soul never forgot his roots. Many fans would like to see his estate in Beech Island turned into a museum and his body laid to rest there.

Others say to bury him at the place named for him--the James Brown Arena in Augusta--and move his statue there.

"I think it would be a compliment to the history of Augusta to bury him here like he was funeralized here," Greene said.

"Right now I think [the Arena is] not the appropriate place to put him," said Coliseum Authority member J.R. Riles. "It has to be a better setting. It has to be a museum, or bury him on the estate."

The decision is just as hard as it was to say goodbye...but it will draw fans no matter what.

"After the family goes through the legal decision, they will have a decision on where to bury him, and I think we ought to respect what they do," Riles said.

Coliseum Authority member Richard Isdell is recommending that James Brown be buried at the Arena. Isdell says tourists visiting Augusta are more likely to visit his grave in Augusta rather than crossing the river to South Carolina.

Isdell voted against naming the Civic Center after James Brown. He says he's regretted that decision ever since and now says that burying Brown at the arena is the right then to do.