Backbeat: James Brown's Daughter Reveals Bio Pic, Tribute Album & Museum @ Grammy Exhibition
Backbeat: James Brown's Daughter Reveals Bio Pic, Tribute Album & Museum @ Grammy Exhibition

James Brown Exhibit

A bio pic, a tribute album and a museum. Plans for those three projects were revealed by Dr. Yamma Brown, the daughter of James Brown, during the Sept. 17 preview of the Grammy Museum's new exhibit showcasing the Godfather of Soul. "Say It Loud: The Genius of James Brown" will run until Jan. 22, 2012.

"We are diligently working on finding the best writer, producer and director to portray him truthfully as a father, husband and humanitarian -- and not just as an entertainer," said Yamma Brown during a short Q&A session led by Bob Santelli, executive director of the Grammy Museum. Joining Yamma Brown onstage were her sister Deanna Brown Thomas, the late singer's widow Tomi Rae Brown and their son James Brown II.

Adding that the film is a "work in progress," Yamma Brown noted that Usher and will.i.am are among a group of artists who have expressed interest in participating on a James Brown tribute album. In terms of future projects, she said the family is still pursuing plans for a James Brown museum. "Our father always wanted his home turned into a museum," noted Yamma.

Housed on the Grammy Museum's fourth floor, "Say It Loud: The Genius of James Brown" is a three-dimensional, interactive exhibit that underscores the late icon's legacy as an R&B/soul pioneer, his impactful role in the civil rights movement and his enduring influence on music, especially hip-hop. Artifacts on display from the James Brown Estate, the family and private donors include stage costumes, early 45s/albums, video clips/interviews, handwritten lyrics and a mini-dance floor on which visitors can practice James Brown's signature moves.

Santelli said the exhibit had originally been slated to run earlier. However, that plan was changed after Michael Jackson's death. "We had wanted to do this exhibit before Michael died," said Santelli. "Michael and many other artists have been influenced by James Brown; he was first."

Among other guests in attendance at the media preview: James Brown band keyboardist Jerry Poindexter and Steve Binder, director of the iconic 1964 concert film "The T.A.M.I. Show."

James Brown Exhibit

Sharing memories of the late singer were (l-r) daughter Deanna Brown Thomas, son James Brown II, daughter Dr. Yamma Brown and widow Tomi Rae Brown. "He wrote and sang the song 'Papa Don't Take No Mess,'" recalled Thomas of their upbringing. "He lived it and we breathed it."

James Brown Exhibit

Sept. 17 was also declared James Brown Day in Los Angeles by L.A. Council President Pro Tempore Jan Perry. Pictured (l-r, foreground): James Brown II, Perry (in pearls), Bob Santelli and Tomi Rae Brown.

James Brown Exhibit

Long Beach, Calif.'s THEM (The Highest Evolution of Music) turned the proceedings into an all-out party, performing a medley of Brown hits including "I Got You (I Feel Good)," "Get Up," Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "Out of Sight." Slipping into their dancing genes were Deanna (in all white) and sister Venezia (in white jacket), as fellow revelers chanted, "Ain't no party like a James Brown party 'cause a James Brown party don't stop."

James Brown Exhibit

James Brown Exhibit

Among the James Brown artifacts currently on display at the Grammy Museum are a pair of his custom-made boots, one of his infamous capes and a carrying case for his sheet music, circa 1960s.

James Brown Exhibit

James Brown Exhibit