James Brown gives his drummer the spotlight. Live at the Boston Garden. April 5, 1968.

James Brown gives his drummer (Clyde Stubblefield) the spotlight at the live concert at the Boston Garden, April 5, 1968.

In the aftermath of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination on April 4, 1968, rioting broke out in cities across the country. James Brown had been scheduled to perform at the Boston Garden on April 5th. Boston Mayor Kevin White had initially wanted to cancel all public events, including James Brown’s show. As there was concern that the cancellation of the show might cause an escalation of the crisis. it was agreed that James Brown’s show would go on. The show, one of the greatest in Boston’s history, went on and the city of Boston remained relatively calm. James Brown consoled his mourning audience, dedicated the show to the memory of Dr. King and was instrumental in keeping the peace on the streets of Boston. This concert became known as ” The Night James Brown Saved Boston”

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