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On This Day in Music: The Godfather of Soul’s Brush with the Law

written by: on February 27, 2012

On February 27, 1991 James Brown as released from prison and went on parol after serving three years in jail. James Brown had been sentenced to six years after being found guilty of two counts of aggravated assault and eluding the police.

On September 24, 1988 the Godfather of Soul entered an insurance seminar in Georgia with a pistol and a shotgun. Mr. Brown demanded the place be evacuated. He charged off in his pickup truck and attempted to outrun the police. The chase would lead to South Carolina and back to Georgia.

Even after the police shot out three of his tires James drove on – until he drove into a ditch. In court he pleaded innocent and apologized for his acts, explaining he feared for his life. Brown elucidated ”I was scared to death. I went to Vietnam and I wasn’t that frightened.”

After three hours in the courtroom James Brown became inmate # 155413 at the State Correctional Institute in South Carolina. Six years later on February 27, 1997 James Brown proposed to a talk show hostess named Rolanda White during filming. Although flattered, she declined.

Throughout the 90s and for the rest of Brown’s time until his death in2006 he would go on to release more albums and continue to tour, living up to his nickname as ‘the hardest working man in show business.’