03 November 2011

The Night James Brown Saved Boston - April 5th, 1968

James Brown's show on April 5th, 1968 is credited with saving the city of Boston from full scale rioting following the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King the night before in Memphis. The gig had been scheduled for months but was cancelled by the city due to riots in the predominantly black area of Roxbury and South End.

City Councilman Tom Atkins pushed for the show to not only procede but to be televised via WGBH. Brown stood to lose $60,000 if the show was cancelled, and had a non-compete clause with a TV special, titled Man To Man, that he was filming at the time. 

Mayor Kevin White wisely approved the show and agreed to meet Brown's financial requirements. The show went on, though attendance was only 2500 compared to the 15,000 expected, and was simulcast on WGBH. As a result Boston was largely spared the widespread damage and violence that occured in other large cities around the country.



























From James Brown- Man To Man Tv Special James Brown was filming at the time of the Boston gig.


Here's the concert as broadcast in it's entirety tho the clips above are a better quality.





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