This occurred at a time when black people riding public buses was deemed a “crime” or an act of resistance. At the time, a certain black man had purchased a private jet.
James Brown, the music sensation, was that black man.
James Brown became a hero after acquiring an unheard-of Learjet 23 in 1966.
It not only put him in an elite club with white superstars like Frank Sinatra, but it also sent a message to blacks that they, too, could reach “white accomplishments.”
James Joseph Brown was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer, and bandleader who lived from May 3, 1933, to December 25, 2006.
He was a prominent player in twentieth-century music and the central progenitor of funk music. Brown’s honorific nicknames include “Godfather of Soul,” “Mr. “Soul Brother No. 1,” and “Dynamite.”
He affected the development of various music genres throughout the course of a 50-year career.
In 1964, James Brown’s aircraft, a Learjet 23, was one of the first to enter service.
With its compact size and combat plane capability, it shook up the executive jet market. Brown was able to conduct multiple shows in different cities in a single day because of its quickness.
James owned a number of planes, including the Lear. He had been an aviator for a long time. He had previously owned the Beech H18 airplane in which Otis Redding was killed.
And before he died, one of his dreams was to fly on the Airbus A380.
Brown became the first African American to own a private jet when he bought this Learjet with aircraft dealer Robert Graff.
The sound of his jets, like his legendary cries, stood out as a symbol of freedom and a declaration that, yes, it did feel wonderful to be the Godfather of Soul.