Birthday Boy! James Brown–Born May 3, 1933!

may 3 james brown birthday

If your kids don’t know about James Brown, then today’s a great day to teach them how to dance to the Godfather of Soul. The legendary music man had a huge impact on all kinds of music, and he had a joyous sound that kids can’t help but enjoy. His unique style of singing and dancing inspired many generations to get up and boogie–over the course of six decades, too.

Brown’s early years were not easy. He grew up poor in Augusta, Georgia, and spent time in prison for robbery before following his dream and becoming a gospel singer. He got his start with the R&B group the Avons, which later became The Famous Flames. Brown’s singing gained national fame with hits like “Please, Please, Please” and “Try Me” as The Famous Flames’ lead singer. Then he became famous in the 1960s when singles like “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “I Got You (I Feel Good)” hit the top of the charts.

In the late 1960’s he experimented with several different styles of music including blues, gospel, and an “Africanized” style that eventually developed into funk music. During his sixty-plus years in the music industry, James Brown recorded hundreds of song spanning several different genres. To this day, he holds the record for the artist to have charted the most singles on the Billboard Hot 100 without ever hitting #1 on that chart. However, he did have 17 number one hits on the R&B charts.

Brown was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and is ranked seventh on the Rolling Stone list of its 100 greatest artists of all time. People will be dancing to his music for a very long time. Here’s a medley of two of his biggest hits, and definitely some of the greatest kiddie funk tunes of all time–presented by an old TV legend who your kids might also enjoy…