Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Greatest

Earlier this week we watched the world pay tribute to Michael Jackson. He was deified by Magic Johnson, Brooke Shields and Reverend Al Sharpton. Luminaries who, it can be argued, are the very pillars of modern day western culture.

But in their praise of The Gloved One, they have, perhaps unwittingly, subordinated the contributions of another great African American musician. Of course, I am referring to the Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown.

Who was the bigger star?

Musicianship:

The edge has to go to Brown, who successfully incorporated soul, pop, funk, R&B and rock and roll into a stunning 40-year career.

Dancing Ability:

Here the point must be given to MJ, who not only gave us gravity defying leans, spins and twirls but also the inimitable Moon walk.

Wealth:

Though he died $400 million in debt, accountants estimate his estate is still $200 million in the black. Advantage, MJ.

Street Cred:

Arrested 8 times, convicted 5, James Brown spent more than 5 years of his life in prison. Point, The Godfather.

To break this tie, let’s look at one final criterion, Charisma. And for that let’s go to the video….


I’m sorry Berry Gordy, Micheal Jackson is not The Greatest Entertainer of all Time. That title belongs to the Godfather of Soul, who had the good sense to appear on national TV only after he had polished off an entire bottle of Courvoisier.

2 comments:

Laura Sweet said...

The casket MJ chose for himself (and the one you saw at the Memorial), was the Promethean gold plated model. MJ chose it when he saw that James Brown was buried in the very same one.

Ellen November said...

I see your camping trip has unleashed a new level of hilarity. I'm in a cubicle dying, head bent down, bobbing. Thank YOU!