Monday, November 16, 2009

Promoter Bob Patton kept James Brown on the good foot

Posted By on Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 2:00 PM

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When James Brown wanted to give Bobby Kennedy his endorsement for president, Bob Patton was the guy Brown chose to deliver the message. Patton's skills as a music promoter attracted the biggest names in music, including such clients as Al Green, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, Solomon Burke and Otis Redding. Known as the go-to guy for getting artists exposure in Georgia and beyond for nearly four decades, Patton died Oct. 7 at the age of 70 from an aortic aneurism.

Originally from Ohio, he first worked as a DJ at radio station WDOH in Dayton, playing race music — the tag laid on blues-based music performed by black artists before the term R&B came into vogue. He met Brown while handling promotion for the station and so impressed the Godfather that Brown hired Patton to be his promoter and booking agent from 1968-’77. Brown was in the midst of inventing funk during that era with such hits as “Cold Sweat."

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