James Brown At The Boston Garden; James Brown Speaks to the Crowd at the Boston Garden
Part of From the Vault.
In this segment, recorded in the early moments of the event before video cameras were up and running, Brown addresses the crowd, describing his own rise from poverty in Augusta, Georgia. After paying tribute to Dr. King, Brown thanks Boston mayor Kevin White and reminds the audience that when the concert is over they can go home and watch it again on TV. He then introduces City Councilor Tom Atkins, who also speaks. Atkins begins to introduce the mayor, but is interrupted by Brown, who takes over the introduction and calls Mayor White a swingin' cat.
- James Brown At The Boston Garden
James Brown Speaks to the Crowd at the Boston Garden
- Program Description
“April 5, 1968. This is the famous James Brown concert that was broadcast on WGBH in Boston, Massachusetts less than 24 hours after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As violence was breaking out across America, Boston mayor Kevin White was considering canceling all public events, including the James Brown concert. Civil leaders advised White that canceling the concert might trigger a riot. The mayor relented and then persuaded PBS station WGBH to broadcast the event in an effort to keep blacks at home instead of on the street. James Brown soothed the grieving audience by dedicating the show to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and delivered and electrifying performance. Brown introduced the mayor who urged the audience to keep cool. At one point the fans go wild and rush the stage. The police move in to restore order but Brown assures them that he can handle it. James then pleads with the crowd to return to their seats and says this is not how black people should act. A very powerful and emotional performance! Songs include: “Get It Together,” “There Was A Time,” “I Got A Feeling,” “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World,” “Lost Someone,” “Bewildered,” “When a Man Loves a Women,” “That’s Life,” “Kansas City,” “Soul Man,” “I Got The Feeling,” “Try Me,” “Cold Sweat,” “Maybe The Last Time,” “Please Please Please,” “I Can’t Stand It” and many others!” 1968.
- Asset Type
- Media Type
- Civil rights leaders
- African American artists
- Atkins, Tom
- Riot control
- White, Kevin H.
- African American musicians
- King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
- Musical performance
- Brown, James, 1933-2006
- Entertainment events
- Boston Garden (Boston, Mass.)
- Performance for a Live Audience
- Morash, Russell (Producer)
- Atwood, David (Director)
- Brown, James (Performer)
- Publication Information
- WGBH Educational Foundation
- Chicago: “James Brown At The Boston Garden; James Brown Speaks to the Crowd at the Boston Garden,” 04/05/1968, GBH Archives, accessed February 7, 2023, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/A_15770C18FF5B4F8EA0F6B5FC23218277.
- MLA: “James Brown At The Boston Garden; James Brown Speaks to the Crowd at the Boston Garden.” 04/05/1968. GBH Archives. Web. February 7, 2023. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/A_15770C18FF5B4F8EA0F6B5FC23218277>.
- APA: James Brown At The Boston Garden; James Brown Speaks to the Crowd at the Boston Garden. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/A_15770C18FF5B4F8EA0F6B5FC23218277