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James Brown was born James Joe Brown Jr The date of his birth is May 3rd 1933 in Barnwell SC His fathers name was Joe Garner Brown he was a black and American Indian His mother Susie Behlings Brown was black and asian James was delivered by his aunts He was a stillborn baby his Aunt Minnie did not give up after he was born she blew into his lungs until he started to cry Both of James parents were very poor His father sold tree tar to a turpentine company They lived in shacks without plumbing or electricity in the woods near Barnwell His parents split up when he was four James ended up staying with his father His father was a hard-working man and did his best to raise James He would work on farms or in gas stations when there was no turpentine work and would also make home brew He eventually got Jamess Aunt Minnie to stay with them to help out The three of them decided to move across the Savannah River to Augusta so Joe could find a better job They moved in with his aunt Handsome Washington known as Honey Honey ran a brothel and sold moonshine Her grandson Willie Glenn lived with her He was a year older than James and they became like brothers James would steer servicemen to the house shined shoes and danced on the street for change Most of the money he made he gave to Honey Around this time James became interested in music He learned to play the harmonica piano and drums from people he met and would practice every chance he got The house was eventually closed down and he and Aunt Minnie moved into a cottage One of the friends that he met was Leon Austin Leon taught him to play the piano with both hands James started sweeping floors of the Trinity Baptist Church so he could practice
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