Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sad Occasion, But Nothing Profound About James Brown's Christmas Death on Radio

Godfather of Soul James Brown passed away three years ago this Christmas (early Christmas morning, Eastern Standard Time, back in 2006). Network radio news had word of Brown's illness (he'd checked into an Atlanta hospital on Christmas Eve, suffering from pneumonia) at 10 pm Pacific Standard Time here on the West Coast. Just two hours later, Brown's death was reported at midnight Pacific Standard Time.

I tried to come up with something profound or even interesting to say about the way radio reported Brown's death, but I couldn't. But, I still felt like posting this link to a montage of James Brown radio news cuts from ABC News, BBC World Service and CBS News that I just put together today. These cuts were all recorded between 10:00 pm PST on Christmas Eve and 2:00 am on Christmas morning on Seattle radio stations.

Why, you ask, was I recording three different radio news sources on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2006? It's a long story, naturally, and semi-related to my graduate school application essay from a few years back.

In addition to Brown, other notable musicians have passed away around Christmas, such as Glenn Miller (technically, his disappearance was announced on Christmas Eve 1944) and Eartha Kitt (who famously sang Santa Baby), who died on Christmas 2008.

Brown was a complicated and interesting artist, and he put out some great Christmas music, too. My personal favorite is Let's Make This Christmas Mean Something This Year. Words to live by.

In any case, Merry Christmas from I STILL LOVE RADIO!

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