Skip to main content
Search
Services


 

Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Ceremonies for James Brown

Aired December 30, 2006 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(MUSIC)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. We have to move on this afternoon. Thank you. Thank you so kindly.

CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. You know, you take in the scene at the James Brown Arena, and it really is as if the man was on stage with so many of these musicians. Christopher John Farley with "The Wall Street Journal," music editor there. Did you see MC Hammer making those moves on stage?

CHRISTOPHER JOHN FARLEY, MUSIC EDITOR, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": Well, you know, mc hammer is a guy that's acknowledged in the press that he got a lot of his moves from James Brown, so it seems that, you know, this is the big payback. He's out there showing James Brown his moves, what he learned from him one last time in front of the people that knew James Brown best and loved him the most. So it was entirely appropriate. I see they tried to coax Michael Jackson on stage there as well.

LIN: I don't think that was did go to happen. Do you?

FARLEY: That looked like that was a nonstarter. But Hammer he's always ready, willing, available to dance. He showed us some moves right there.

LIN: And a live picture of Tomi Rae, James Brown's companion, maybe his wife somewhat in dispute standing at the edge of the stage staring down at a man that she, who fathered her child, a 5-year-old boy. The thoughts that must be running through her mind and perhaps even the controversy of this picture as family members look on as well.

Christopher, that moment a very personal moment for Tomi Rae. And you could hear people shouting from the gallery for her to get off the stage.

FARLEY: Yes. Well, a very rough time for her. She's someone who was allegedly locked out of her home. She's someone who's in a dispute about whether she was actually, actually had a legal marriage to James Brown and yet and she's called upon here to celebrate his -- to publicly mourn, to publicly celebrate. So she must be going through a lot of different emotions. We saw some of those on display right there on the stage with her, with her companion of more than five years, James Brown.

LIN: Christopher, you look into the audience there. I've mentioned Reverend Al Sharpton, Reverend Jesse Jackson, pop star Michael Jackson; all of them pretty much front row center near the casket. Who are some of the other notables that you've seen in the crowd today?

FARLEY: We've seen Dick Gregory, the comedian. He's someone, who like James Brown, was very much front and center during the civil rights movement, trying to reconcile, you know, his art with the movement and trying to find a combination that worked for him. So he went through some of the same struggles that James Brown did, someone who is a symbol of entertainment that mattered. And he is in the audience. Of course, we saw Bootsy Collins up on stage, Bootsy Collins a guy who -- looks like there's something happening, so I'm going to pause for a second.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Up on stage, the senior pastor of the Carbonsville Baptist Church. At this time we receive with love the Reverend Herman Bing, senior pastor of the Carbonville Baptist Church.

REVEREND HERMAN BING, CARBONSVILLE BAPTIST CHURCH: Greetings. Without delay, I bring to you forefront at this time a dynamic preacher, one who has been dug up by the plowshares of the gospel and god is using him as a vehicle to do great things. I bring to you a consummated leader, one who I liken unto David, a biblical character.

David was a small man in stature, but he loved to conquer giant things. And this man is small in stature, but he has huge accomplishments. And I bring to you at this time the animated, the invigorated, the electrifying Reverend Al Sharpton.

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, LINTIME BROWN CONFIDANTE: Thank you. Thank you very much. To the Brown family, to all of you that are gathered here today, today is the end of a long journey and the beginning of a new journey. We come to thank god for James Brown. Because only god could have made a James Brown possible. And only god can give James Brown rest. Many years ago in the early 1970s, I met a young man in New York. I was leading the youth division there of operation red basket under Reverend Jackson. A young man came to New York named Teddy Brown to go to college.

He was unfortunately killed in a car accident. Several months later Hank Spahn and Bob Law said his father wanted to do something with our youth group. They brought me to Symphony Hall and I met James Brown. James Brown told me if I did what he said, he would help us. Two weeks later he brought me and put me on "Soul Train" to speak to young people. I was 16 years old. You know to be on "Soul Train" at 16 in the '70s is like being on three "Meet the Presses" and one "Face the Nation" in the same day. He became the father I didn't have. I became, he said, his oldest child. And throughout the years, I've seen him up and down. I've seen good days and bad days. But I never saw him shaking. I've never seen him back down. I've never seen him bend, buckle or bow.

James Brown was a man's man. And he stood up like a man. He lived like a man. And on Christmas Day, he died like a man. You don't understand James Brown until you've been down to Georgia-Lina, like he said. You have to be here and understand how he was born, not at zero but below zero. Because you judge not the distance of a man but where he is but where he begins. And nobody started lower and went higher than James Brown did.

We used to ride around somewhere between Beech Island and Bamberg. And he'd tell me, Reverend, I was born out in these woods. He said "I shined shoes on Broad Street." he said, "but the reason I'm not bitter is god blessed me and he gave me a talent. And I didn't let anyone tell me how to use my talent. They called me names. They persecuted me. They set me up. They framed me. They locked me up. But they couldn't lock me down." there was a god. There was a god that was with me all the way. And he said "no matter what, I know that there's a god, and I believe in god, and I believe god believes in me." So he sung his song and he danced his dance, but he wasn't just singing for himself. He sung for us. He danced for us. He screamed for us.

Common people, working people, poor people. We didn't have a star till we had James Brown. James Brown wasn't smooth and wasn't acceptable. He wasn't tall and light-skinned with good hair. He looked like us. And he made the whole world see how good we could be. So we come to stand with his family, to thank god for you, Mr. Brown. There are going to be others today -- and I'm not going to prolong my eulogy, but I want to share his family's tribute and conclude mine. But I want to say this, if I could be so arrogant. I sent a message, children, to St. Peter this morning. I told Peter to open the gates wide, not that James Brown is that tall, but he swaggers and he likes a lot of room to walk in. You need to open up the gates for the godfather. He's a little short in height. He'll be swinging his arms. You'll know him because he'll be walking to the beat of a different drummer. He'll be humming a tune you never heard before.

When we first met him, music was only 24. He cut it into a 1/3. And the whole world changed a beat because of James Brown. Rap started from James Brown. Hip-hop started from James Brown. Funk started from James Brown. We got on the good foot because of James Brown. And, Peter, if you don't consider it too arrogant, I don't know too much yet about what you do in heaven. But if you have Sunday morning service, you ought to let James Brown sing tomorrow morning. I know you got angels that could sing, but they never had to shine shoes on Broad Street. They never had their heartbroken. They've never been to jail for doing nothing wrong. They never had to cry because their friend betrayed them. They need to let James Brown sing tomorrow. He's got a song that he can sing about what god brought him through. He came up the rough side of the mountain. Nobody helped him up. But he kept on climbing. And on Christmas night, he stepped from mortality into immortality. They need to let James Brown sing in heaven tomorrow.

Last thing he told me about a week ago, Ms. Hogan called me and said, Reverend Sharpton, Mr. Brown is trying to reach you. And we talked about every week. I sometimes would wait till the next day to call, because you need a good half hour to put aside to talk to James Brown. You never could cut him ff. He would just keep talking. But Mr. Bobby called me about two hours later and said, you need to call him, he wants to talk to you. It was the last conversation we had. He said to me, Reverend, he said, "I've been watching you on the news. I want you to keep fighting for justice. But I want you to tell people to love one another. I want you to fight to lift the standards back." He said, "What happened to us that we are now celebrating from being down? What happened we went from saying I'm black and I'm proud to calling each other niggers and ho's and bitches?" He said, "I sung people up and now they're singing people down, and we need to change the music."

He said, "I want you to stay with your teacher, Reverend Jackson, don't get so big headed you can't stay with your teacher, y'all got to clean it up." Then he said to me, "Reverend, have you talked to Michael?" I said, "no, I think he's out of the country." He said, "Tell him I love Michael. Tell him don't worry about coming home. They always scandalize those that have the talent. But tell him we need to clean up the music and I want Michael and all of those that imitated me to come back and lift the music back to where children and their grand mommas can sit and listen to the music together."

I didn't know that would be our last conversation. But, Mr. Brown, all through the 35 years I knew you, you used to tell me if you died first you wanted to go out with dignity. When I got the call from Mr. Bobby, I got with Yama, Deanna flew in, who is my new boss now. Lisa, Larry, Terry, Darryl, all the Brown children. We took you to New York where they lined around the Apollo one more time. We brought you home to the church. Now we brought you to the James Brown arena. We tried to do what you asked us to do.

Reverend Jackson is here, Mr. Brown. And even though many stars you helped and even though he knows they're going to criticize him, Michael said, he doesn't care what they say. Michael came for you today, Mr. Brown. Come on up, Michael. Come up here. I don't care what the media says tonight. James Brown wanted Michael Jackson with him here today. Brothers and sisters, as I bring the family and then Mr. Bobby and then we will conclude the eulogy, I think it is only appropriate, based on my last conversation, we hear some words of expression from Michael Jackson.

MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER: Hello. What I'm going to say is brief but to the point. James Brown is my greatest inspiration. Ever since I was a small child, no more than like 6 years old, my mother would wake me, no matter what time it was, if I was sleeping, no matter what I was doing, to watch the television to see the master at work. And when I saw him move, I was mesmerized. I've never seen a performer perform like James Brown. And right then and there, I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life because of James Brown. I love you. But James Brown, I shall miss you and I love you so much. And thank you for everything. God bless you. And I love you.

SHARPTON: Many years ago, Marva Whitley told a story. James Brown called the band together. He said, there's a man that's going to come help me. He works on the railroads. I don't know who he is, but when he comes, we'll know him. He didn't know there was a man working in the Transit Authority in New York, laying rails. He came one night to see him at the Apollo and became James Brown's manager, he had been with him 40 years. He was sitting three feet from him talking to him the night James Brown died. He hadn't had nothing to say the whole time, but I think before we hear from his offspring, we should pause and let the man that carried the burden in the heat of the day, brother Charles Bobbit say something for the godfather. Charles Bobbit.

CHARLES BOBBIT, BROWN'S PERSONAL MANAGER: Thank you. I don't know if this is a homecoming or home going or whatever it is, but this is exactly what he wanted in Augusta. Let me tell you a little bit about me and him. I always dreamed that I was going to do something for a big man. I knew I wouldn't be the man. But I intended to be the man behind the man. When ways in high school, I wouldn't even play sports because I didn't want to get hurt, because I knew one day it was coming. My wife, god bless her soul, talked me into going to a James Brown show. We walked in, sat down. Mr. Brown walked on stage and the bells went off. I said, I'm getting me a job with him and I'm going to be the manager. My wife said, you're crazy, you don't know business. You lay rails. You don't dance. You don't even have rhythm. But I knew something that she didn't know. Shortly after, I met Mr. Brown. And he told me, he said, I'm going to hire you. Oh? You're going to be my manager. But I'm letting you know now that I'm going to give you hell. I'm going to give you hell. Sometimes you're going want to walk away. And he was right. And sometimes I wanted to ring his neck.

And sometimes I wanted to spank him. But it was all in the learning process. He says, I and you going to be closer than our wives. I said, oh, what is this? But, anyway, to get down to one other issue, all of you walk around saying, singing -- say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud. Let me tell you how that was done. The young lady, Ms. Marva Whitley who sang for you a short while ago, myself and Mr. Brown, was in Los Angeles, California. We just finished a date. Raining, storming like nothing. Mr. Brown, he always had a lot to say. So we were sitting in there talking, looking at television and there was black crime going on. He said, how come black people can't love each other, how come they can't get together, how come they can't respect each another? I was tired and I agreed, mm-hmm, which was true.

He said, oh, my, my, my, OK you can go to my room. I looked at my watch. Oh, my god, I can sleep tonight because you were going to stay with Mr. Brown until he was going through his bedroom door and be with him until he came out of his bedroom door in the afternoon. I went to my room. I thought, oh, man, I can turn on the television and watch 20 minutes exactly he called me, Mr. Bobby, come here. When I went to his room, on two napkins on the table was a song, "Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud." He said, Mr. Bobbitt, I want you to get the band together, send them down to the Valley, and get a studio. We are going to record this record tonight. Get me 30 children. I want you to get me 30 children to sing on this song. It's storming and it's almost in the middle of the night. I said, Mr. Brown, where am I going to get 30 children from? He say, you the manager, you can do it.

I went to a church and watched. I found the lady and I got an old school bus and we road around watts and got 30 children, brought them down to the studio, recorded "Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud." I gave them $10 and a James Brown album. That's how the song that you love so well was played.

Now getting on to Mr. Brown, in latter days he didn't look so good. He looked like he was very ill. But Mr. Brown was such a hero that he wouldn't admit and wouldn't submit that he was sick. We brought him up to the dentist. And again god bless my wife, she said, Mr. Brown doesn't look well. You better get a doctor to check him because, if you don't, you might kill him, because he wanted to be put to sleep. We got a doctor there to check him. And our very good friend -- and the doctor said, you need to go to the hospital, you've got pneumonia. And our very good friend and Mr. Brown's friend for a very long time, Mr. Andre White, he arranged for the hospital to be ready and waiting for Mr. Brown. We got him to the hospital. The doctor checked him and he listened to him. He said, you got pneumonia and you've got congestive heart failure.

Yes. He asked him, have you had this before? He was standing behind me. I didn't exactly see him. But I think he said yes. They put him in the hospital. I said, oh, my god, being a businessman, I said, oh, my god, we've got these dates and New Year's Eve we've got two shows. Hey, doc, how we going to do these shows? He said, we're going to work on him and if he gets right he can go and do the shows. So they put him in Saturday afternoon. I stayed with him that night. I slept in his room that night. He wanted lemonade. He wanted water. He wanted his feet rubbed. He wanted this, he wanted that. But he didn't want to talk to anyone. He didn't want to see anyone. So that night passed through. He slept from Saturday afternoon until Christmas morning. About 1:15. 1:15, he said, Mr. Bobbit I'm burning up, and my chest is on fire. I gave him some water, wet cloth, put it on his forehead and that. So he would lay down, sit up, lay down, sit up, late down, sit up.

Before that, about a week ago, he said, Mr. Bobbit, I asked god to give I and you 20 more years. I said, Mr. Brown, I'm 76 years old. I don't think I can handle 20, maybe you can. He said, no, man, no, they can make us young; we'll be around for a long time. We're going to do things with Michael Jackson, we going to do things with Prince and do this, do that. I said, OK, Mr. Brown. Because you didn't say no to Mr. Brown. You might say maybe, but you didn't say no. So, anyway, he laid there, he started, he said, Mr. Bobbit, I'm going to leave here tonight. I said, no, you're not. Being the businessman, I said, we got some dates to play.

We got to make some money. And I wanted to cheer him up. And I said, well, and if you're saying what I think you're saying, I can't make this trip with you. So we kind of laughed. He sat on the foot of the bed. He made his peace with his god. He laid back. He laid his head back on the bed and he exposed himself by laying back. And I took a blanket and I covered over him. And that's how I was able to hear him breathe his last three sighs. He breathed very softly three times. He opened his eyes. He closed his eyes. And he had expired. I called the nurses and the doctors, they came, they worked on him for a long time but he was gone.

Now I want to say this in my conclusion. Mr. Brown, I know you're in heaven, because you made your peace.

(APPLAUSE)

But I'm telling you -- now, we mentioned St. Peter at the gate, opening the gate. I can hear Mr. Brown -- I see him in my mind's eye. "St. Peter, love you like a brother. But, see, I don't deal with no middleman, you got to take me to the main man." He was that way. He didn't deal with middlemen, he had to have the man. And the heavenly choir, he put them in tune because they wasn't singing right. "Got to put you in tune. You ought to hear the bittersweet, I'll put you in tune."

And the heavenly band, especially the harp player, I know he caught a fit, because Mr. Brown had to put them in tune. All right. Because you can hear the heavenly band now. Got to have a little funk in it. And one other thing, I want to say to you, the king is dead. Long live the king. Thank you.

REV AL SHARPTON, POLITICAL ACTIVIST: Thank you.

One thing you forgot, Mr. Bobbitt, I'm sure Mr. Brown told Ray Charles, "They lined up around the Apollo for me, swear to god."

His daughter, Deanna, who has had nothing to say publicly, her and Yamma and Nicey (ph) never have had a lot to say privately. And like they daddy, I have been the recipient of their word. They are all true Browns. Ain't no long thing, they get right to the point. But let me say before asking her to break her silence that all of us are in debt to Mr. Charlie Reed, who has handled Mr. Brown and these arrangements par excellence.

Where's Mr. Reed? Mr. Reed? When Deanna and Yamma and Nicey and Larry and Terry and Daryl decided they wanted a 24 karat coffin, casket, gold. I never heard of it. He went and found it. Then he said, Reverend, you got one problem. I said, what's that? He said, no small private plane can carry that weight. It's almost 500 pound by itself, then with Mr. Brown it's another 150, 160 pounds. So I got to the funeral home that night. We had arranged to put on a Delta flight. It left while we waited on the casket. And Mr. Reed said, "I'll tell you what, he got to make it to the Apollo. And he never missed the Apollo." He said, "I'll drive the body all night." I said, "Well, I'll get in the car and ride with you. You ain't going to out James Brown me."

Give him a hand. Brother Charlie Reed, Augusta's main man. Thank you.

And all the friends. As they say, Andre White and Mr. Cannon, Mr. Dallas, all of them that stood with him. We got to keep the family together -- Sidney Miller, we got to keep it together, because Mr. Brown's legacy is important. He would always tell me and Willie Glenn, who was his cousin -- his family is here -- he said, "I learned music from Boston." I said, "Who is Boston?" He said, "Leon Austin." And Leon Austin is sitting there and Johnny Terry is sitting there. Leon is sharp as a tack, Mr. Brown. I don't know where he think he at. He got his hat on at your going-home service, but he's here.

But let us hear now from the god daughter of soul, Deanna Brown. Give her a hand.

DEANNA BROWN, JAMES BROWN'S DAUGHTER: I just want to take a moment to thank all the love that you all have shown me and my family. I want to thank everybody who has placed a hand into our home-going services all three days. I want to thank my momma for bringing me into this world. I love you, momma. And I want to thank my brother, Reverend Al Sharpton, for grabbing hold of me and my brothers and my sisters and standing with us.

I want to thank Reverend Jackson and I want to give my deepest thanks to Mr. Bobbitt for being there with my daddy, holding his hand while he go see god. And I'm just going to say this one more thing. Shawn Thomas, I love you, because without your strength, baby, I wouldn't be able to make it a day, a day, a day or another day. I love you, husband.

God had a Christmas birthday concert for Jesus on Christmas day. And y'all know James Brown had to headline, right? I'll bet that party was something else. Thank you, James Brown Arena. Thank you, Augusta. God bless you. Keep loving one another.

SHARPTON: Yamma Brown. Give her a hand.

YAMMA BROWN, JAMES BROWN'S DAUGHTER: Thank you, Augusta. I'm going to be brief because my sister so graciously thanked everyone and I'm forever grateful for everybody's hard work and help in all of this. And I just want to say of all his children, I lived in Atlanta and I didn't get to see him as much as I wanted to. But I got the first phone call to go see him in the hospital because they couldn't do anything until family came. And it was kind of like my own little special thing that he was in Atlanta with me. And I went to the hospital and sat with him for a long time before anybody ever came. And I just talked to him. And it was just special for me. And I just want to say, thank you, Augusta. I was born here and I love Augusta. And although, like I said, I don't get a chance to come back here very often, but this is where daddy would want to be. And just want to say thank you to my husband for being my rock, and my beautiful children for loving their grandfather so much. Thank you, Augusta.

SHARPTON: Daryl Brown.

DARYL BROWN, JAMES BROWN'S SON: OK, how's everybody doing today? First thing we're going to do is I want y'all to look to your left and tell that person that you love them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Love you.

BROWN: All right, that's enough. Now I want you to look to your right and tell that person that you love them. OK. That's enough because I know somebody in here ain't loving right. But I'm going to say this. Listen, I spent a lot of time with my daddy the last two weeks and he kept telling me, "Son, I'm so tired." And I said, "Daddy, then go to sleep if you tired. Sleep as much as you want as long as you want, because either way you look at it, I'm going to be here." he said, "Son, listen, you have a legacy now and you must take this legacy and keep it going."

We used to have rehearsals, you know. And we'd been (INAUDIBLE) the night before. Mr. Bobbitt call up, say, "You're going to have rehearsal." Man, we would be fussing, "Oh man, why we got to have, we just played...," but he would do a lot of talking. We might play a song or two. He would come in, touch up something. Because you know he always had an ear that was tremendous. What you thought you could hear, he heard it even better. So he would touch up something he did -- he'd do a lot of talking. He said, "Listen, fellows," he said, "I'm not going to be here with y'all all the time, but what I want you to do is I want you to stay together."

When my father passed, all the fellows called me, and they told me, they said, "Daryl, it's on you now." I said, "Fellows, it's on us, because he left us the legacy and it's up to us to keep it going and we're going to continue to keep this legacy going."

Now, another thing I want to say is that I found out also where my daddy is, we all know -- everybody here has a fear of death. But let me tell you something about death. Death is a beautiful thing. Death is the easy thing. But dying is hard. And I watched my daddy die the last two days, and I wasn't ready to do nothing now. So I called them angels, them horses. I said, "Look, I can't watch my daddy die too much longer. Whatever you want to do, it's up to you, most high, because I'm not in control of nothing." And even though he asked me, he said, "Son, you know, I want to die -- I want to die on the stage." I said, "I'll tell you what, I can help you get there. That's the best I can do. Daddy, I got you to the stage."

(APPLAUSE)

I got you to the Apollo. We got you around -- wherever you -- we got you there. And I want to let you know that everybody in here that as one mind, not individual minds, but one mind, every one of us is a James Brown in here somewhere. And I want to let you know that we, as a people -- if we do not come together, we have lost everything that was fought for us from the Martin Luther King, from the Marcus Garveys, from to the -- you name them, to the Malcolm X's and all, we lost it. They fought hard. And James Brown said, "Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud." We can't lose that. Not in one day.

So I ask every one of you that's in here today to be a stepmother or a stepfather to another child. These children that are coming up now, and let them know you don't have to live fast and die young. But you have to live as long as you can and die when you can't help it.

Thank y'all. I appreciate everything. Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to pull you back -- so egotistical.

FANNIE BROWN BURFORD, JAMES BROWN'S SISTER: I've just come to say thank you to all of you all for supporting, all of the band members that have played with James Brown. I see all of you all before every show and after every show because I sell the souvenirs. A couple of months ago, he said, "Fannie, you finally did it right, Fannie." So, with god permission, I pray you all support our families from now on. Thank you all, thank you, world. James Brown loved you all.

SHARPTON: Part of the extended family with me was Fannie, who just spoke. And let's hear it one more time for the man that traveled all over the world and kept him going, brother R.J. Give R.J. a hand. Got to keep the band going, R.J.

R.J.: Got to do it, sir.

SHARPTON: As the family takes their seats, we're going to hear several speakers and we're going to go -- as y'all take your seats, that means, as Mr. Brown says, "It's time for y'all to get off the stage."

(LAUGHTER)

You ain't got to go home, but you leaving here. I'm going to bring y'all back. Shh. He ain't going nowhere.

I asked James Brown once who was his idols. And who was his mentors. He told me the greatest love was when he found out that you need to love and thank god for yourself. And singing one of his favorite ballads is my sister from Chicago, Illinois, Santita Jackson. Give her a hand.

SANTITA JACKSON, REV JESSE JACKSON'S DAUGHTER: (SINGING)

(APPLAUSE)

SHARPTON: Many years ago, Santita's father became my mentor and teacher. As years roll on and you grow and you start rebelling, you need a father to whip you in line. James Brown used to always say to me, "I want you and Reverend Jackson together." When James Brown was incarcerated, the only one would come to see him outside of our family was Jesse Jackson. Down through the years, he's fought the good fight. He first saw James Brown when he was a kid in Greenville. He was with him in the beginning and with him in the end.

Our last conversation, I told you, he told me, "Stay with your teacher. You'll never get bigger than your teacher. And you never, ever do anything but make him bigger if you do what he taught." To give us words of comfort and instruction, I'm proud, in front of Mr. Brown, to bring my teacher and mentor and his friend, the founding president of the Rainbow Push Coalition, Reverend Jesse Lewis Jackson.

REVEREND JESSE LEWIS JACKSON RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: Let us pray. This is a sacred service, the home-going celebration of one of your beloved children, one of your begotten children. Pause to express our thanks to thee for your many blessings.

We pause today to ask you to forgive us for our sins, for they are many. And make us better. We thank you for sending us a redeemer at Christmastime, with the power to forgive us for our sins and through grace and mercy take us to higher ground.

We thank you for all those who have gathered today in the sound of our voices. We hope there's some word said, some song sung that they will take somebody to higher ground.

We thank you so much for James Brown for overcoming difficult circumstances and making it through the night to bring to so many of us the light of day, for the rhythm in his feet, the thought process in his head, for the values in his heart.

We thank you for the family (INAUDIBLE) that gathers in sadness. Yet, we know that you promise that you remove our tear-stained eyes through it all and take us on to the next level.

Give James today a comfort zone in your bosom. Embrace him now beyond pain and beyond heartache and beyond difficulties. He's with you now. And give him the joy of his salvation.

Thank you for the ministers today who have come to share a prayer and the word, for Reverend Sharpton, whose ministry continues to blossom and we are beneficiaries of your work through him.

Today we want to go on from this place to higher ground and see us through. Amen.

In these few moments, I want to share the substance of faith. James Brown is just that. Before doing so, so many people want to say something on the program today, so many singers want to sing a song. We all are somewhere between, please, please, please, and we're all in America, we're all caught up in the James Brown-ization of our culture.

So, because we've come so far, from around the world literally today, you want to express yourself. On your feet and show your love for James Brown.

Put your hand together. Show your love for his singing, for his dancing, for his message, for his music, for his generosity, for the food baskets, for the legacy, for being an overcomer, for the joy. Put your hand together for the king. King James is in the house. Put your hands together. Show your love. Please, please, please, try me, night train. Talk to me, somebody. Put your hand together. Put your hand together. Let me hear you scream. Let me hear you scream. Let me hear you scream! Show your love. Let me hear you scream like you really mean it.

I want to thank reverend Al Sharpton for his leadership during his turbulent time, emotionally for him, the godson of Brother James. Reverend Al has ministered to a family faced with challenges, in turbulence and the crisis of death. Show your love and appreciation for Reverend Al Sharpton. Won't you do it?

Show your appreciation. Show your appreciation. Thank you, Reverend.

This is ministering at its best to real needs. I want to thank Brother Bobbitt. Brother James' personal manager for 40 years, for his faithfulness and loyalty across these years. Put your hand together for Brother Bobbitt.

To the Brown family, don't let the devil destroy you. Death always creates trauma because of separation and pain. Give yourself time to mourn. There's a period, a cloud of confusion where we're all maladjusted.

James lifted you up if life, don't tear him down in death. It's about James.

Beyond the service today, his memory, be carefully (INAUDIBLE) and a legacy built upon his manifest talents. There's enough substance and legacy for all of you to share.

James left us on Christmas day he had urged Santa to come straight to the ghetto, and since Santa didn't come, James upstaged Santa Claus on Christmas day by making his transition. We will lay him to rest the day before New Year's Eve, another historic moment for this Augusta, Georgia, formerly a slave port. New Year's Eve night, 1862, is when we held our first watch night services. Lincoln promised that we'd have

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com

Search
© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by CNN.com
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines