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Saturday, November 29, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 27.0° F  Fog/Mist
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James Brown, Clyde Stubblefield and the Madison Area Music Awards

The obituaries that followed soul giant James Brown's death on Christmas Day often mentioned his drummer of the late '60s and early '70s, longtime Madison resident Clyde Stubblefield. Stubblefield played on such seminal funk tracks as 'Cold Sweat' and 'Funky Drummer,' helping Brown create the sound that would have a profound influence on hip-hop and many other pop styles.

But in a 1983 interview with Isthmus, Stubblefield had nothing good to say about his years with Brown. 'I made James to a certain extent,' he said, 'but you won't see anyone's name but his on any of his albums. He'd rather give the doorman a royalty on a record than any of his musicians.... I don't think that in the James Brown organization the musicians were treated fairly. A couple years later, James Brown called me up asked me to go to Europe with him. It done me good to turn him down.'

The annual Madison Area Music Awards will hold a kickoff event at Broadjam Inc., 6401 Odana Rd., on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 6:30 p.m. to assist MAMAs-eligible artists with registration. The event includes an open mike, and artists are encouraged to bring their instruments. Information about online registration and voting is available at

The Madison Area Music Awards takes place May 12 at the Barrymore Theatre.

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