Monday, February 19, 2007

Alan Leeds Interview

This Wednesday at 7PM Eastern I'm thrilled to be airing an excerpt of an interview I did with Alan Leeds. This came about as part of the research I am undertaking for a career profile of James Brown for Exclaim! next month. Leeds first started working with Brown in the late 60s and was his tour manager from 1970-74. Leeds is one of the Grammy award winning liner note authors to Brown's Star Time box set. He is featured in the current issue of Wax Poetics, which is (always) a must read.

We spoke for more than two hours - which was super-generous of him... I'll be airing 25 minutes of a conversation regarding James Brown's influence in the late 60s, with an emphasis on 1968, when "Say It Loud, I'm Black And I'm Proud" was released. Leeds' perspective on Brown's unique stature at the time will yield new insight for even most die-hard JB fan.

Leeds also told me that JB's trombonist and arranger Fred Wesley wrote an autobiography a few years ago, which I promptly snatched up. It's a fine read. Wesley isn't the most polished writer around, but he's a heck of a storyteller and very, very perceptive observer of the often limited avenues open to Black professional musicians, particularly during his formative years in the 50s and 60s.

Anyways - check the interview with Alan Leeds, this Wednesday at

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