James Brown Live at Boston Garden on April 5, 1968 FULL CONCERT DOCUMENTARY

By Ron Worthy

Given the potential for civil unrest around the country in response to the handling (or lack thereof) of the Trayvon Martin murder, we began to think of another time when this type of outrage was felt by such a large segment of our community. The riots following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in urban centers around this country ruined large sections of neighborhoods and business centers. Some of these areas, particularly in places like Detroit, have still not recovered.

As we express our outrage tonight at the Million Hoodie March in New York City or in similar demonstrations until justice has been served, please take heed of the power of soul music below. According to Wikipedia:

(James Brown) performed in front of a televised audience in Boston the day after Dr. King’s death. Brown is often given credit for preventing rioting with the performance. Mayor Kevin White strongly restrained the Boston Police from cracking down on minor violence and protests after the assassination, and Boston religious and community leaders worked to keep tempers from flaring. Also, White arranged to have the Brown performance broadcast multiple times on Boston’s public television station, WGBH, thus keeping many potential rioters off the streets, watching the concert for free. Brown demanded $60,000 for “gate” fees (money he thought would be lost from ticket sales on account of the concert being broadcast for free), and then threatened to go public about the secret arrangement when the city balked at paying up after the concert, news of which would have been a political death-blow to White, and possibly sparked riots on its own. White successfully lobbied the behind-the-scenes power-brokering group known as “The Vault” to come up with money for Brown’s gate fee and other social programs; The Vault contributed $100,000 to such programs, and Brown received $15,000 from them via the city. White persuaded management at the Boston Garden to give up their share of receipts to make up the difference. The story is documented in the PBS film “The Night James Brown Saved Boston“. Full James Brown Bio.


  1. Get It Together
  2. There Was a Time
  3. I Got That Feeling
  4. It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World
  5. Lost Someone
  6. Bewildered
  7. When a man loves a woman
  8. Tell Mama
  9. Check yourself
  10. Chain of fools
  11. I heard it thru the grapevine
  12. James Brown & Mayor Kevin White speak
  13. That’s Life
  14. Kansas City
  15. Soul Man (Bobby Byrd)
  16. I Got That Feeling
  17. Try Me
  18. Cold Sweat
  19. It May Be the Last Time
  20. I Got You
  21. Feel Good
  22. Please please me
  23. Can’t Stand It

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