Movie Review: The Night James Brown Saved Boston (2008)


Title: The Night James Brown Saved Boston
Release Date: 2008
Director: David Leaf
Summary/Review:

April 5, 1968. Cities across the United States are in turmoil as grief and anger over the murder of Martin Luther King leads too violence and rioting. In Boston, city officials considered canceling a scheduled concert by James Brown, but instead Mayor Kevin White is convinced to allow the show go on as a memorial to Dr. King and broadcast it live on WGBH.  The documentary begins with a good background on Brown, King, and Boston leading into 1968. Then there’s extensive concert footage intercut with interviews with people who were there that night (including Mayor White but sadly not James Brown) as well as commentators like Cornel West and Al Sharpton. The biggest moment of tension is when some concert-goers rush the stage and Brown himself asks the police to stand down and the fans to return to the floor. Other than that, the music is spectacular and reports come in that people in Boston are staying home to watch the live broadcast and then the immediate rebroadcast.  And by the way, the WGBH crew having no idea how to produce a pop concert for television is pretty hilarious, but they end up doing a decent job. The film concludes with the effect on James Brown becoming a more vocal leader of the Black American community in the ensuing years. This an excellent document of a moment in Boston history as well as a fantastic concert film. 

Rating: ****

Favorite Songs Of 1974


The project continues with my favorite songs of 1974.  Read the first post for the detail on this project.

1974 is an extremely challenging year.  I have hardly any songs from this year and I’m not really crazy about many of them.  Apparently, I’m not alone.

Autobahn – Kraftwerk

Boogie on Reggae Woman – Stevie Wonder

Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Babe – Barry White

Cat’s In the Cradle – Harry Chapin

(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night – Tom Waits

No Woman, No Cry – Bob Marley and the Wailers

Nothing from Nothing – Billy Preston

The Payback – James Brown

Syl-O-Gism – Mary Lou Williams

Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do) – Aretha Franklin

And the song of shame for 1974 is “Band on the Run” by Wings

What are your favorite songs from 1974?  Let me know in the comments!