Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


Huge Storms Hit Midwest

Aired May 6, 2007 - 19:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The roads were really bad, and so my husband is driving very slowly and I was shaking. I'm trying to call my grandmother on the phone. The phone was dead. I couldn't get through. When we pulled up here, I was in utter shock.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: It's like she says. She was headed to her grandmother's to clean up after the storm, she didn't expect this. Rooftops blown away, cars upside down, debris stuck in trees. All this and Kansas is still not in the clear. Also, this man breaks into a house, takes an 8-year-old little girl and then gets caught in the act of molesting her. I'm going to talk to the officer who made the arrest. Thank goodness for him. Also --

He was his friend in death, Bootsy Collins is going to join me live to talk about "James Brown, The Real Story." All this and a whole lot more right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Hello again everybody, I'm Rick Sanchez. The video and the information just keeps coming in on some of the worst tornadoes that we've ever reported on. This is why they call it tornado alley around Kansas. Take a look at this video from different parts of the heartland. It's a nightmarish 48 hours that they've been through and it still may not be over. Since about this time on Friday we've had reports of more than 100 tornadoes in at least eight different states. Death toll is at 10. And to look at these towns you wonder how more people weren't killed.

This town, by the way, that we've been focusing on is Greensburg, it's a farm community, with a history that goes back about 120 years. Here's what's left of it. It was leveled in just a matter of moments. Our man on the scene is and has been Jeff Flock. Jeff, does it look as obliterated from the ground as it does when we look at it from the air?

JEFF FLOCK: I think you have no idea. I think unless you were here yourself to experience this and perhaps even if you were here you wouldn't have a sense of it, because -- well look behind me, this is the middle of Main Street. This is the busiest intersection typically in town. There is typically not farm equipment any where near here though it's a farm community. Remember the seen in "Twister" where a combine is picked up and launched through the air and comes down, that's a combine that sits right there on one of the downtown buildings on Main Street. As we said, typically this is the busiest intersection. Main Street runs this way, up and down here is 5400 which is the main thoroughfare in and out of Greensburg, and you see where it is tonight. There is devastation in every direction. This was the local museum. As you pointed out, this town has a long history. That hand-dug well that we've talked so much about, 1888 I believe was the year that they dug it. They wanted to make sure they had a secure water supply, a big important thing for this town, 50,000 tourists a year came in. This was the repository of all the rest of the history of Greensburg and at this point I don't even think you can make out what that is. A lot of artifacts in there and now there are artifacts of a storm. Again, Main Street runs all the way down here. City hall was down there somewhere where you see those splintered trees, perhaps if you're able to see them off in the distance. That was city hall. The fire house over there, local bank across the street there. It is all now gone. They've done a tremendous job because you see the debris that lines the sides of the streets here, this was all in the streets over the course of the last couple of days. Front-end loaders, bulldozers, street sweepers have come in to make at least the main thoroughfare safe so that emergency workers can get up and down and go where they need to go. It has been an amazing response for reporters like you perhaps Rick, who have been to a lot of disaster scenes and have seen varying sorts of levels of response in terms of intensity, perhaps Katrina being the poster child for the way not to do it. This is the poster child for the way to do it, with this infusion of manpower, a lot of people doing a lot of things, and if this town has any chance to come back I think it will be as a result of this -- of this kind of effort that's going on in this town of Greensburg, Kansas tonight. Rick?

SANCHEZ: You know as I look at these pictures Jeff, I'm left with this question. Did this thing serpentine through the town and thereby damage almost all of it, or did it go through it en masse? I'm confused?

FLOCK: Now it did not need to serpentine, because this thing by some accounts, a half mile across, three quarters of a mile across -- the town isn't any more than that. It's simply made -- oh you can come on through, sir, go ahead, we don't want to hold up the emergency management folks who are very kind to us. This town simply was dead in the path of this storm. It came straight through town and leveled the whole thing. It's only about 1,600 people. It's not a bad-sized town, it's actually a decent sized town but it just hit it dead on.

SANCHEZ: That's amazing. That is one thick huge wide storm. Jeff Flock, we thank you, as usual, for taking us there and being able to show us that damage as we continue to stay on top of this story and wish the best for the people of that town in Greensburg. Some of the best images that we have seen of this storm-affected area have come from you, the viewers, that have been in constant contact with us since Friday. We want to take a moment now to share some of these videos and some of these pictures. Here we go, this is Brent Lacy, she took this picture, it's in Sweetwater, Oklahoma, it's a small house. It was absolutely decimated by the storms. Brent said that the entire street looked like that. And in Greensburg 17-year-old Chris Neal sent us some pictures as well, look at this. Said he was in shock as he looked at the area, and that he had never seen anything like that. That was his quote. These shots are a pair of barns that destroyed when that massive tornado just passed right through the outskirts of Greensburg, as were you saying.


SANCHEZ: Coming up, an 8-year-old girl kidnapped, her abductor allegedly tries to molest her. We're going to talk to one of the men who rescued that girl. That's coming up next. Also, a 12-year-old went out on a fishing boat 50 years ago. That's the last time anybody ever saw him alive. This is a civil rights cold case that's revisited by us. Fifteen minutes from now we'll bring you that. And then later the Godfather of Soul is dead, James Brown's legacy lives on. We're going to talk to a legendary musician, Bootsy Collins. You know Bootsy? He's going to be here to talk to us about James Brown and a lot more. You're watching CNN.


SANCHEZ: What a couple of stories we're going to bring you out of the country now involving what is easily a parent's worst nightmare, a home invasion, 8-year-old girl kidnapped and found in the hands of an alleged child molester. This happened in a Michigan town of South Lyon. It ended when a police officer with a citizen's help confronts the suspect, blocks from the girl's home. Glenn Zimmerman with CNN affiliate WXYZ has the story.


GLENN ZIMMERMAN, WXYZ (voice-over): Timothy Jeffrey's expression says it all. A judge just set bond at $5 million for allegedly taking and carrying a sleeping 8-year-old girl from her south Lyon home. And then several blocks away on top of this rooftop patio he is charged with sexually assaulting her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to Sergeant Hoydic Jeffrey's pants were down around his ankles. Sergeant Hoydic observed Jeffrey's right hand on the victim's thigh and his left hand on the back of her neck.

ZIMMERMAN: She ran away while police say Timothy Jeffrey fought with the officer. According to police reports Jeffrey was able to get away. But Sam Sanagro(ph) was on a police ride along caught him and with the help of some other citizens, restrained him until police could arrive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He ran down the steps, and I got a hold of him and just turned him around and just held on to him.

ZIMMERMAN: Timothy Jeffrey is originally from Cleveland, Ohio, and in court he told the judge he left Cleveland to get away from troubles he had there. He has a job and he said he was doing ok. Outside the courthouse he told Action News reporter Peggy Agar that he was innocent but he had little more to say.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you deny police found you with her, I mean an 8-year-old girl?

(END OF VIDEOTAPE) SANCHEZ: Wow, South Lyon police officer Sean Hoydic is the one who captured the suspect and rescued the little girl and he's good enough to join us now. He's joining us by phone in South Lyon, Michigan which I understand is near Detroit, right?


SANCHEZ: Boy, you know, if that was my kid, I'd be buying you dinner for years and years to come. Job well done, sir. Congratulations.

HOYDIC: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Are you convinced that he was going to molest her?

HOYDIC: Yes, absolutely. Either had or was going to, and, you know, as it turns out, it had already occurred to us to some extent.

SANCHEZ: Oh, my goodness. How did he get in the house and grab her without her parents knowing it?

HOYDIC: Well, I don't know. Other than, I mean, this is a small community, and people tend to leave their doors unlocked, and they feel safe here.

SANCHEZ: Yeah I know, I get it. Besides, you know there's basements. We've got awfully big houses nowadays. Take us through when you made the realization of what was going on and then take us to the point where you confront him.

HOYDIC: Well, it happened very, very quickly. As I walked up the stairs, when we -- when I put the light on him, it was immediately apparent to me what went on, and, I mean yes, it is surprising. And it takes, you know, a couple split seconds to register. And as soon as the light went on, the girl got up off of the couch and screamed and ran back behind me. At that point my focus was on the suspect.

SANCHEZ: As far as you know he had never seen her and she had never seen him, right?

HOYDIC: That's correct, although we didn't find that out until later on when we located the girl, and we were initially under the assumption that he knew her somehow.

SANCHEZ: So your theory is this guy that we're looking at on tape here was basically just looking for a child to molest?

HOYDIC: That's what we're going with. I mean, I would like to emphasize this -- this guy was not a South Lyon resident. He came from Cleveland, Ohio, and that's just -- it says something about our community that, you know, this guy came from outside of it.

SANCHEZ: If you hadn't been there, he would have gotten exactly what he was looking for too, wouldn't he have?

HOYDIC: Well I hate to say, you know, what would have happened, but I'm just glad that we had the staffing levels, you know, there that we could respond so quickly, and prevent this situation from getting worse.

SANCHEZ: What did you say to him, what did he say to you at the point where you confronted him?

HOYDIC: I told him to get up off the couch. I had to order him to pull his pants up.

SANCHEZ: Oh, my goodness.

HOYDIC: And walked backwards towards me and interlace his fingers and put his hands on top of his head. And when I went to handcuff him, that's when the fight ensued. He rushed me and tried to push me backwards towards the ledge of the rooftop, and to avoid going off the ledge with him I went down to the ground, and attempted to wrestle him and get him under control on the ground. However, he got away from me, and that's when Sam grabbed on to him.

SANCHEZ: Who is Sam?

HOYDIC: Sam Sonagra, that was my ride-along for the night.

SANCHEZ: So you guys were able, what did he say by the way when you told him, I imagine you probably said some things that any one of us would say after finding something like that. How did he respond.

HOYDIC: The bad guy or Sam?

SANCHEZ: No, the bad guy. What did he say, I'm totally innocent, I wasn't doing anything wrong? I mean what do you say when you're caught doing what you say you caught him doing?

HOYDIC: Well, at first he told us as I was walking him backwards towards me, you don't understand. And I don't know what there is to understand about something that heinous.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, you and me both.

HOYDIC: I think the eye -- you see it with your own eyes and that explains it all.


HOYDIC: I don't think there is any explaining that.

SANCHEZ: One final question. What are the girl's parents saying to you? I imagine they must be pretty grateful to you.

HOYDIC: Yes, they are. They were very happy. They are just happy to have their girl back.

SANCHEZ: South Lyon Police Officer Sean Hoydic. You're certainly a hero in my eyes, sir. Good job. Well done.

HOYDIC: Thank you. SANCHEZ: Another child predator almost ruined a family's vacation at Disney World, but an alert 11-year-old boy in this case stepped forward and stopped the crime. Ryan Schultes of WHDH brings us this amazing story.


RYAN SCHULTES, WHDH (voice-over): The perfect picture of a happy family vacation to Disney World.

DAVID, 11 YEARS OLD: The beginning was pretty good until they -- until we ran into this little big bump.

SCHULTES: That bump was convicted sex offender William Bishop who 11-year-old David and his sister ran into out by the pool at the Swan Resort on the property of Walt Disney World.

DAVID: He was asking my sister very weird questions like where are your mom and dad? Do they know where you are? Do they know that you're going on the slide? Can you point your mom and dad out to me?

SCHULTES: David knew something was not right about those questions so he told his dad. They both kept an eye on bishop who 30 minutes later walked off with another little girl. David ran after them.

DAVID: I went to the top of the hill and around like maybe 15 or 20 feet away I saw behind the bushes, he was rubbing her private area, and I ran back down and told my dad that they were behind the bushes.

SCHULTES: Four lifeguards came out and held Bishop until the police got there. They made a disturbing discovery. They found a small camera hidden inside his Hawaiian shirt. He had been videotaping the alleged assault.

DAVE, FATHER: Shivers go through my back.

SCHULTES: That's not all. Bishop is a convicted sex offender with a 40-year history of arrests.

DAVE: There's something wrong with the system where a guy like this is out walking around free.

SCHULTES: But back home in New Hampshire Dave could not be more proud of his son who some are calling a hero.

DAVID: When I see something really suspicious like that, like a molester, I want to keep a close eye on him and make sure that he's not getting my sisters or like little kids.


SANCHEZ: By the way, the caveat to this story, police in Florida have not asked us that we not identify the family amid concerns, of course, that Bishop may attempt to try and seek revenge against them.

It was 1960, and it was South Carolina.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: A friend had invited Charles and Freddie to work a day on a shrimp boat. Their grandmother said no but the next morning Freddie went anyway.


SANCHEZ: That was the last time that a 12-year-old boy was seen alive. We are going to look at the facts surrounding this civil rights cold case. That's next in the NEWSROOM. And then at the half hour, Greensburg, Kansas, was virtually wiped off the map by a massive tornado. More pictures have been coming in. We will continue to share them and the question how does this town rebuild? Does it? Is there the will? You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.


SANCHEZ: We welcome you back to "B" control, I'm Rick Sanchez. Imagine trying to solve the crime nearly 50 years after it happens. That's exactly what the FBI is doing right now with another cold case. This one out of South Carolina. It's part of an initiative to try and bring closure to dozens of civil rights-era cases that have just gone cold. Nobody knows what happened. Even though memories fade, evidence gets lost and witnesses die, the family of the dead still holding out for some kind of answers, as in this case, a told by our Don Lemon.


LEMON (voice-over): Their memories of life in South Carolina are still fresh from the house that once stood along this highway.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are the flowers that was there when we were growing up, the same flowers.

LEMON: To the state park that banned them because they're black. Willie Reid and his sister Katherine are two of seven kids raised by their grandmother on Edisto Island. It was the summer of 1960, the civil rights movement well underway and even small communities like Edisto saw segregation firsthand. Back then whites could come and go on the beach whenever they liked but blacks were only allowed if they were there to work. It was also a time of deep sadness for the family because it was the last summer they'd have with 12-year-old Freddie. His brother Charles, now a New York City bus driver remembers. A friend had invited Charles and Freddie to work a day on a shrimp boat. Their grandmother said no, but the next morning Freddie went anyway.

CHARLES ROBINSON, FREDDIE ROBINSON'S BROTHER: By the time my grandmother ran to the window to tell Freddie to stop, they were gone. And that was the last time we ever seen him.

LEMON: Freddie's body was found here two days later.

WILLIE ROBINSON: Somebody pulled him up, you know, out of the water and he was laying right out there.

LEMON: Willie and Katherine always thought Freddie drowned but Freddie's brother Charles thinks race may have had something to do with his death.

CHARLES ROBINSON: He used to love to dance, and the little white girls down there loved to see him dance so he used to teach the little white girls how to dance. And my thing is that I think that didn't go too well with some of the white people down there.

LEMON: Freddie was buried and the story of his death made national news. Reports at the time quoted the NAACP saying Freddie's eyes were gouged out and his skull was crushed. The coroner maintained Freddie's skull was in tact and his eyes were likely eaten by crabs. His body was exhumed and reexamined and the coroner stuck by his initial findings. No charges were filed, because as far as the officials were concerned, no crime had been committed. But almost 47 years later Charles Robinson is not so sure justice has been done.

CHARLES ROBINSON: I really think that whatever took place to Freddie took place before he was thrown or whatever in the water.

LEMON: While his family admittedly doesn't have hard evidence to prove that Freddie was murdered, they welcome the fact that the Justice Department is willing to take another look at a case long forgotten and a little boy who never was.

CHARLES ROBINSON: The last two years that I was living on Edisto, knowing I was at his funeral, but each time I would see somebody walking afar I'm looking, hoping that it was him. And for years I was looking down the highway, hoping that he would come home.

LEMON: Don Lemon, CNN, Atlanta.


SANCHEZ: Of course, the big story that we're going to continue to follow for you is the community leveled, like perhaps none we've ever seen. But many people from Greensburg, Kansas, are trying to somehow rebuild. We're going to look at Greensburg before and after this weekend's deadly tornado. It was billed as the temper versus the beauty. Who came out on top in their bid to become the very first new French president in 12 years. And later, James Brown once threw Bootsy Collins off his band. We talk to Bootsy about the late Godfather of Soul now. You'll hear his story right here. You're watching CNN.


SANCHEZ: As we come in with this block of news for you, we want to give you a picture of Elk City, Oklahoma. This is one of the areas that Jacqui Jeras is going to be following for us tonight, part of that tornado alley we often talk about. Don't know what's going to happen tonight, but we're keeping an eye on it, as you can see. Looks kind of ominous, gray skies, overcast, plenty of rain in the area. And we'll keep tabs on it and other adjacent cities as well with our fingers crossed that nothing happens there like it did Friday night. Until this weekend most people had never heard of Greensburg, Kansas. And sadly what's put it on the map has also wiped most of it off the map. Here's CNN's Nicole Lapin.


NICOLE LAPIN (voice-over): The incredible destruction of Greensburg, Kansas leaves nothing to remind us of what that vibrant little town looked like before Friday night. Well, perhaps the biggest claim to fame was the world's largest hand-dug well. It served Greensburg's water needs up until the 1930s. Now each year, thousands of people would visit this engineering marvel, walking down those steps, where light illuminated the 15 feet of clear water at the bottom. Well, for now the big well is buried underneath a mountain of debris, (INAUDIBLE) by a giant water tank, that once towered over it. Also gone with the wind is the town's famous half ton meteorite. It was dug out from a nearby crater many years ago and also served as one of Greensburg's big attractions. No sign of it since the tornado. We continue to get new i-Report pictures in of the various places all across tornado alley. These images come to us from Jeff Robinson from the battered farmland of Havilland, Kansas. The American flag speaks the loudest of the resilience of the Midwestern spirit. Now if you have video or images of the tornado's wrath, just go ahead and send it to us by clicking on the i-Report logo on the home page of For the dot com desk, I'm Nicole Lapin.



SANCHEZ: Let's go to Peter Teahen, he's a spokesperson for the Red Cross, he's in Kansas. He's joining us now by phone. In fact, I understand, are you in Greensburg?

PETER TEAHEN, RED CROSS SPOKESMAN: Yes, Rich. I've been here since yesterday.

SANCHEZ: Mr. Teahen, when you look around, what do you think, what do you see?

TEAHEN: It is incredible destruction. I've been on a lot of tornadoes, but I've never seen a tornado with the destruction like this. You know, the whole heart of the community has been destroyed. We look at 90, 95 percent of a community just completely flattened. Families are going to return tomorrow, many of whom won't even notice, recognize their home or their neighborhoods that were just devastated?

SANCHEZ: What are you going to do for them when they return tomorrow?

TEAHEN: Well, our goal here right now is to provide shelter for them. We did over 250 residents in our shelter last night. We've been doing mass care feeding, providing food, with all sorts of mental health counseling and that will be important tomorrow, mental health counseling. SANCHEZ: Well hold on, let me stop you with the shelter part before we get to the mental health counseling. You can't provide shelter for them there in Greensburg, can you?

TEAHEN: No, we have shelters in Havilland, in Mullin Ville and other -- Buckley and actually we're beginning to open up shelters in other parts of Kansas as this storm devastates the entire state.

SANCHEZ: What are you doing, are you taking over motels and such?

TEAHEN: No, we actually use community resources like churches or schools and bring in cots, air mattresses and provide health care and security so they have a place to stay. There are no hotels in the area.

SANCHEZ: All right, we got that part of it. Now let's go ahead and move on to something you suggested moments ago and that's the mental health aspect. I can only imagine how devastated these people might feel, and I bet you it's more difficult the second and third day than it was the first.

TEAHEN: Well, it is, but for many of the families tomorrow is the first day, you know. They left their home in the middle of the storm, and none of them have returned back, so tomorrow will be the first day that they actually see their home and see their community. And it's so different than seeing it on TV or in still pictures, so there is going to be a lot of emotional heartbreak tomorrow as the reality of what happened the other night actually hits home.

SANCHEZ: Besides a shoulder to cry on, what do you do for them?

TEAHEN: Well, we look at coordinating local community resources, state resources. We have mental health counselors that will come in just to be there to let people talk to us, to tell their story, to help work through some of the decisions they have to make. And, you know, we're here more than just a day or so. We're here for several weeks and Red Cross is here before the storm and will be here afterwards, helping these people, helping the families decide what are we going to do with the future of our lives and the change of our families and the change in the community. You know, it's more than losing a house. It's, you know, where did the older men of the community go, you know, what cafe do we go to, to play cards and to have coffee? Where do you go for quilting, and where do the kids go to school? None of that exists now.

SANCHEZ: Yeah you're right. It's a lifestyle.

TEAHEN: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: It's how they lived their lives on a daily basis, and now they need to find an alternative of some form. Mr. Teahen, with the Red Cross. We thank you sir for talking to us. We thank you for your good work and we wish you the best of luck.

TEAHEN: Thanks Rick. SANCHEZ: The U.S. relationship with France has been a bit contentious lately, as I'm sure you have noticed, but that could soon change. Take a look at this.

Whoa, next in the NEWSROOM. An election that could send signals of a new direction between the United States and France. No more contentiousness? We'll let you know. Also another day in Iraq brings more attacks against U.S. forces. Nine U.S. troops killed in action. You're watching CNN. We'll be back.


SANCHEZ: Let's turn to financial news now. All eyes will be on the nation's capital this week. Ali Velshi explains in this getting down to business report.


ALI VELSHI (on camera): Many financial people are worried that the whole mortgage debacle combined with the already slumping housing market is going to take a big bite out of the economy. We'll see if the Federal Reserve has anything to say about that when policy-makers meet in Washington this week. The Fed meets eight times a year and Wall Street hangs on every obtuse word that it utters. Notes from its last meeting suggest that an interest rate hike might be on the horizon if inflation becomes a problem. Now the fed uses many different measures for inflation. One of them is the producer price index. PPI measures the price of goods at the wholesale level, before they are passed on to you. We'll get April figures on that on Friday. And speaking of you, the consumer, how much did you shop last month? We'll see when the retail sales report for April is released. Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of all economic activity in this country so if people are spending that's good for the economy. And on the earnings front several companies are showing us their quarterly report cards this week. Billionaire Warren Buffet holds his annual meeting in Omaha this weekend. Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway has the most expensive stock listed. It's over $100,000 a share right now. Thousands of people gather to hear the oracle of Omaha talk about how he plans to make money. Buffet calls the gathering Woodstock for capitalists. If you want more of this sort of thing watch me on "minding your business" each weekday on "AMERICAN MORNING." That's it from New York. I'm Ali Velshi.


SANCHEZ: That's a pretty good shot of the CNN NEWSROOM there. You see some of our writers and producers diligently preparing this and future newscasts. Insurgent attacks are taking a deadly toll on U.S. troops in Iraq. Today the military announced the deaths of 12 more American service members. The deadliest attack happened Sunday, it's in Diyalah Province, a roadside bomb struck a military vehicle killing six U.S. soldiers and a civilian journalist. Also today, two U.S. soldiers were killed in separate roadside bombs, a third was killed in what's being called a non-combat incident. Today the Pentagon is announcing in fact that the deaths of two U.S. Marines Saturday in Anbar Province have also taken place and says that a third U.S. service member died Friday in western Baghdad. Hate having to report that.

France has chosen a new president, conservative Nicolas Sarkozy. He has now defeated socialist Segolene Royal in today's presidential runoff. Aside from the names, he campaigned on the themes of cracking down on immigration and radical economic reform, including curbing the power of French unions. One of his first acts, reaching out to the United States.


NICOLAS SARKOZY, FRENCH PRESIDENT-ELECT: I want to call my American friends to tell them that they can trust on our freedom, rely on our friendship. And the passages of history have been faced together. France will always be next to them when they need us.


SANCHEZ: Sarkozy won with about 53 percent of the vote, by the way. The turnout was the highest in decades, 85 percent of the people who could vote in France went to the polls. And as improbable as it may seem, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine goes back to work tomorrow. Corzine spent 18 days in the hospital after a crash last month on the Garden State Parkway. Corzine says that he wasn't sure that he was going to make it. He had 11 broken ribs, a broken leg, a broken collar bone and some other injuries. Corzine now calls himself the most blessed guy in the world, his words. He paid a $46 fine last week for not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash, by the way.

We all know about the hair, the moves and the music of James Brown, yet there's still a mystery looming over the man himself. Up next, we get into that mystery. A legend joins us to talk about the legend. Bootsy Collins knew him well, as well as anybody, and he's going to join us there in the NEWSROOM. Bootsy is known for the hats and there he is, not to disappoint. Then by the way, at the top of the hour on CNN SIU, more on the James Brown that you may not know. CNN SIU, pardon me, "James Brown, The Real Story", it's coming up at 8:00 eastern right here on CNN.


SANCHEZ: You can look at this all day long. James Brown, the Godfather of Soul. Some say that he was a man of conflicting passion while dedicating himself to the civil justice and political activism. He also wrestled with periods of his own self-destructive behavior. From CNN'S Special Investigations Unit Don Lemon brings you the story of the James Brown, the man most people never knew. "James Brown, Say it Proud, The Real Story," it airs tonight at 8:00 eastern. Here's a peek, by the way.


LEMON (voice-over): October 24, 1962, Harlem, the legendary Apollo Theater. James Brown and his band were about to make history with a live recording.

JAMES BROWN: You know, I feel all right.

Well, we was cooking. We was cooking.

LEMON: Once again James Brown's instinct was right on. The live recording was the second best selling album of 1963. It was a performance as much as the music that was driving his fans wild.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the end James goes into his dance, and it is absolutely extraordinary.

REV. AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: He would lose five, six pounds a show and I would tell him and the audience lost one or two pounds just watching you.

LEMON: But it wasn't until 1965 that he would break through to a white audience with a song that put him on top.

Papa's got a brand new bag.

FRED WESLY, BAND MEMBER: I remember James Brown telling people that he's going to do something different from now on. "Papa's got a brand new bag," was a brand new brand of music.

BOBBITT: He felt a new beat, he heard a new sound.

CHUCK D, RAPPER: James Brown made sure everybody hit their emphasis on the first beat.

BOOTSY COLLINS, BAND MEMBER: He always told me, son, you've got to play it on the one, and I was like on the one. What the heck is he talking about? He said on every one you've got to play a dominant note.

USHER: James brown is the master of the one.

CHUCK D: Bam, one, two, three, four. Bam.

USHER: Good god.

LEMON: It was the beginning of what became James Brown's enduring contribution to American music, funk.


SANCHEZ: Wow! Let's bring in Bootsy Collins now because he kind of lived through part of this era. He's a musician, an entertainer, known as the funk master. Bootsy Collins joining us now live. I like your shirt. What does it say? It says what?

BOOTSY COLLINS, MUSICIAN, ENTERTAINER: This is -- it says Bootsy Collins and the Godfather of Soul.

SANCHEZ: Bootsy and the Godfather. You know, when we look back at his story, what we see is a man who was very disciplined for a large part of his life and then for some reason it all changed. Can you give us a sense of how that happened? COLLINS: Well, I think when he started out, you know, he was just focused on nothing but the music.

SANCHEZ: Like a drill sergeant?

COLLINS: Yeah, yeah, like --

SANCHEZ: Like hard to work for?

COLLINS: That, too, but, you know, you've got to understand that he was a man, and he had a vision, and he knew how he wanted it done, and, you know, he wasn't going to let nobody get in the way of how he wanted it done.

SANCHEZ: But then it did get in the way later in his life, didn't it? He started coming apart there.

COLLINS: Yeah, yeah, but, you know, I think that goes with age -- I mean, the man had done it for what 50, going on 60 years.


COLLINS: I mean so, I mean, for me it's like, you know, how can one man do all of that in that length of time and still be sane?

SANCHEZ: They say -- they say that he could take a mediocre band and make them great, right? What was his secret? What did he do?

COLLINS: Well I think it was his energy, his energy and the way he conducted himself, the way he respect -- had respect for himself and others, and he passed that on, and I think it made everybody better.

SANCHEZ: You know, I must credit you with your understated apparel. That hat is really something.

COLLINS: Well, that's the Bootsy brand. You'll see my store be up in a minute. With this in it.

SANCHEZ: There you go. Did he make you better?

COLLINS: Definitely.


COLLINS: He showed me -- he was the first one that told me about the one. I didn't know what the one was but he explained it to me, because I was a bass player playing a whole lot of stuff. He told me to slow down and play all the stuff I wanted to play as long as I play on the one, and that was enough so satisfy him. He didn't care whatever else I played as long as I played that one.

SANCHEZ: And the one meant what?

COLLINS: The one of every beat. One -- SANCHEZ: That's interesting. So he -- he came in with a philosophy and he made sure everybody who worked with him got, it understood it?

COLLINS: Yeah and it was a unified thing. It was a family situation. I mean, the whole thing, he bought the uniforms, everything was all connected to show unity, a family unit.

SANCHEZ: Was he appreciated enough while he was at his best? I know as a guy gets old then suddenly everybody likes him and of course when he dies we make a big deal out of it. But when he was in his prime was he appreciated enough?

COLLINS: I think he was appreciated to a certain extent, but I don't think to the level that he should have been, because he was -- to me, he was the greatest man alive. I mean, period, in the music business.

SANCHEZ: Why? What will be his enduring legacy?

COLLINS: What will be his enduring legacy, the way he changed music for everybody, for the world. I mean, he changed it to the point of it can't be changed back now.

SANCHEZ: Interesting. Bootsy Collins, thanks so much for talking to us.

COLLINS: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Can I borrow the hat one day.

COLLINS: Well you can borrow the hat and you can come get my shirt, the Godfather of Soul, baby.

SANCHEZ: Good for you. Good for you.

COLLINS: All right, baby.

SANCHEZ: Ever the showman and the marketer, thank you Bootsy.

COLLINS: You know what, thank you CNN for keeping the Godfather alive. Thank you so much.

SANCHEZ: It's our pleasure.

COLLINS: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: It's certainly a noteworthy and newsworthy story, thanks Bootsy.

COLLINS: Thank you, all right.

SANCHEZ: Well, it's a CNN Special Investigations Unit, you absolutely don't want to miss. It is fascinating. Don Lemon with an inside look at the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, Say it Proud, The Real Story, tonight at 8:00 eastern right here on CNN. Up next, by the way, you have to decide. Is it art or is it pornography? No matter your answer you'd have to say that it certainly gets your attention. The famed zocola(ph) plaza filled with naked people next in the NEWSROOM.


SANCHEZ: It is the main plaza in Mexico City. It was the site of a massive strip show today. That's right, strip show. Yep, the big flesh colored field on your screen is a18,000 naked people. They gathered at the Zocola Plaza for what is likely the biggest nude photo shoot ever. Notice we will not zoom in. Just for some perspective the plaza is as big as five football fields. Photographer Spencer Tunick is known for his massive nude portraits in public spaces no doubt. Tunick spent three years planning this shoot and there it is. We bring it to you because we can. I'll be back with you live in the NEWSROOM at 10:00 p.m. eastern. But coming up next, we know about his groundbreaking music career and all the hard times. Up next on CNN SIU, the James Brown you may not have known. CNN SIU, James Brown, The Real Story, it starts right now.


© 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
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines