8 Feb 2014

Charles Bradley

From the collecton New Zealand Festival

The songs of soul survivor Charles Bradley, tell of the hardships and struggles of life- a subject he knows a lot about. After years of on again off again parenting from his mother, he left home at 14, sleeping on the subways of New York, and eventually earning a living as a cook and James Brown impersonator under the name Black Velvet, James Brown Jnr. Much of this story is told in the documentary Soul of America. It wasn't until he was 62, that he ditched the toupee and started performing and recording songs under his own name- at the persuasion of Thomas Brenneck, guitarist from Sharon Jones' Dap-king, Antibalas and the Mennahan Street Band. Charles Bradley talks with Emma Smith, shortly after the death of his mother.

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