We are living in a bold new age of information. YouTube represents an archive of millions of hidden or long forgotten documentaries of some of the greatest performers in music, free and at the tips of our fingers. This week grap your dancing shoes and get ready to experience the man simply known as Soul Brother Number One.

James Brown was an innovator in the truest sense of the word. In the same way that Miles Davis redefined jazz and Jimi Hendrix revolutionized rock n' roll, The Godfather of Soul reshaped every genre of music he touched. Soul and funk were this man's forte, and his rise to fame allowed him become a prominent force in reshaping 20th century pop music. His influence can be found in any style of music imaginable: rock, jazz, blues, funk, hip-hop, reggae and disco, just to name a few. The mention of Brown's name alone evokes images of him lighting up the stage with his arms wildly swinging around and sleek feet shuffling.

Take this clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkGg3XkN80U) of Brown performing "Sex Machine" in France. James was always the star of the show and he knew it. He commanded any stage he stepped on, in the same way he commands the sold out crowd to "Get on up!" Brown was no stranger to improvisation, and this performance (like many) turns into an impromptu dance party complete with tambourines, splits, and one of the tightest singer-band interactions ever seen.

Personal problems aside, the legacy of James Brown will forever resonate throughout pop music. Performances like this one show why he deserves to be remembered as a cultural icon, one who never failed to show fans why he was known as "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business"


All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.