James Brown Walking Tour Debuts in Augusta

By Jennifer McKee

 

James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, left an indelible legacy in Augusta. His love, spirit and generosity live in the downtown venues he performed at, frequented and gave aid to the less fortunate. Now, visitors and residents can experience that spirit firsthand on a new walking tour from the Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Downtown Development Authority.

The Soul Starts Here: The James Brown Journey lets tourgoers literally walk in Brown’s footsteps, visiting these spots that were essential to the artists’ life. The spots are marked by vinyl artwork on the sidewalk, along with a QR code that opens into an audio tour narrated by Brown’s friends and family. These locations were integral in all areas of Brown’s life: home, school, work and church.

The audio from the Lenox Theatre stop, for example, features iHeart Media DJ Minnesota Fattz recounting how James Brown helped him get started in his career. The Silas X. Floyd School stop describes how Brown encouraged lifelong learning and shares his hit “Don’t Be a Dropout.”

The tour begins at Soul Bar and concludes at the singer’s childhood home. The complete list is as follows:

  1. Soul Bar, 984 Broad Street
  2. The Boss Radio Station, 870 Broad Street
  3. James Brown Statute, 800 Block, Broad Street
  4. Imperial Theatre, 744 Broad Street
  5. Augusta Museum of History, 560 Reynolds Street
  6. Bell Auditorium, 712 Telfair Street
  7. James Brown Arena, 601 7th Street
  8. Dyess Park, 902 9th Street
  9. Lenox Theatre, 1128 9th Street
  10. Silas X. Floyd School, 921 Florence Street
  11. Mother Trinity CME Church, 8th Street near Walton Way
  12. Childhood Home, 944 Twiggs Street

To learn more about each stop, listen to Brown’s music and download a map and brochure, visit https://www.visitaugusta.com/soul-starts-here/

Commissioner Marion Williams, Deanna Brown Thomas, and CoCo Rubio

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