Today in 1962, the recording of a landmark James Brown album: “Live at the Apollo”… at least after the recording team dealt with one pretty big obstacle to the recording.

If you’re not familiar with James Brown’s music, you’ve almost certainly heard his influence.

He was known as the Godfather of Soul, the Godfather of Funk, Soul Brother Number One and the Hardest Working Man In Show Business.

And while his reputation offstage was not exactly perfect, his musical legacy remains a very big deal.

Of course, in 1962, before that iconic live album recorded at Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater, it wasn’t obvious that James Brown would become a major influence on music history.

Aside from “Please, Please, Please” and “Try Me,” most of Brown’s singles had flopped.

But onstage, he and his band, the Famous Flames, were known for putting on phenomenal shows.

Brown figured a live album would introduce the rest of the world to all that excitement.

The head of the record label was not convinced; he refused to pay for recording, and Brown had to put up the money himself.

Sure enough, he and the Flames were in top form when they hit the stage.

They could do no wrong!

And the microphones all over the theater were capturing it all… which was kind of the problem.

Make no mistake, the live performances sounded great on tape, and the audiences were roaring.

But one concertgoer was so into the show she was cheering the performance on by dropping F-bombs… right in front of a microphone.

The band didn’t want to lose that enthusiasm, but they also couldn’t have someone shouting “sing it, motherf__ker” through the whole live album.

So a record label executive offered her some popcorn if she’d move to another spot.

Which she did, and now we have “Live At The Apollo.”

The Apollo is a legendary building, and now there’s a project to celebrate some fascinating but lesser known structures.

A social media account called Midwest Modern is sharing photos of these underappreciated designs in our part of the country.

James Brown Live at the Apollo – a classic report from the vaults⁠ (The Guardian) ⁠

One Guy Is Bringing The Best Of The Midwest’s Modern Architecture To The Internet⁠ (Digg)

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Photo by Jack Szwergold via Flickr/Creative Commons