James Brown Statue.
The Godfather of Soul in bronze, perpetually smiling in Augusta.

James Brown Statue

Field review by the editors.

Augusta, Georgia

Soul superstar James Brown, known professionally as The Godfather of Soul, The Hardest Working Man in Show Business, and Mr. Dynamite, moved to Augusta in 1938. He was living across the river in Beech Island, South Carolina, when he died in 2006 -- just long enough to see Augusta erect a statue in his honor.

James Brown Statue.

Sculpted by orthopedic surgeon John Savage, it captures Brown as he looked later in his career, wearing a stage cape and standing on a raised platform, making him appear taller than he was in real life.

Like Brown himself, the statue has been generally well-liked, but not without controversy. Its unveiling was pushed back a year after Brown was thrown into jail for threatening his fourth wife with a chair. For some reason it faces away from Augusta and toward South Carolina, literally turning Brown's back on Georgia. The city placed it in the median of a busy street (making it inconvenient to visit) then knocked down most of the cool, shady trees around it (making it uncomfortable to visit as well).

Some city commissioners want to move bronze Brown to a more accessible spot in Augusta, while others -- the ones who knocked down the trees -- want to keep the statue where it is, surrounded with more James Brown tributes. Neither side has the money to accomplish its goal, so for now Brown is where he's been since 2005, baking in the Georgia sun.

James Brown Statue

Address:
850 Broad St., Augusta, GA
Directions:
The statue stands in the median of Hwy 28/Broad St., between 8th and 9th Sts.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Titanic Hero - Butt's BridgeTitanic Hero - Butt's Bridge, Augusta, GA - 1 mi.
Monument to a White Supremacy MartyrMonument to a White Supremacy Martyr, North Augusta, SC - 2 mi.
Big CupBig Cup, Augusta, GA - 2 mi.
In the region:
Salley Chitlin' Strut Festival, Salley, SC - 38 mi.

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November 23, 2017

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