“Godfather of Soul” James Brown believed that Ronald Reagan was the most intelligent president we’ve ever had and also a man of conviction.
Brown expressed his admiration for the 40th president in 1984 that has just been released as part of the PBS Blank on Blank series in which vintage interview clips are presented in animated format. See embed below.
At the time, Rocci Fish, then of ABC News Radio, asked Brown about Reagan during an impromptu press conference at the Washington Convention Center. James Brown, who earned a reputation as the hardest working man in show business, responded that President Reagan “is the most intelligent, most well-coordinated president we’ve ever had.”
Brown continued with his praise: “I just know he’s the most well-organized president we’ve ever had in history … His acting ability taught him the whole structure of the country … He knows what everybody wants. You see, every American man is still a cowboy. See, you’ve got to remember that. Because of the frontiersmen … He knew he was going to be president. See, that’s what you call a man of conviction.”
James Brown was quick to point out that he didn’t make political endorsements, and was not affiliated with either the Republicans or the Democrats, and instead referred to himself as a “humanitarian.”
As part of his illustrious career as a musician and a performer which strongly influenced many other artists, James Brown, who died in 2006, was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He recorded seventeen number-one singles on the R&B charts and is ranked seventh on the music magazine Rolling Stone‘s list of its 100 greatest artists of all time.
Brown may have been alluding to Ronald Reagan’s unique background and communications skills. President Reagan had an unconventional and colorful career prior to entering the Oval Office. From very modest beginnings, the high school lifeguard became a Hollywood actor, an Army officer, president of the Screen Actors Guild union, television and radio commentator, and California governor (which some say is the second most difficult elected office in the country). He started out as a Democrat but became a Republican in 1962, and in so doing brought millions of “Reagan Democrats” (somewhat equivalent to today’s Tea Party members) to the polls to vote for him in his two successful presidential campaigns.
Listen/watch the James Brown interview in which he speaks highly of Ronald Reagan but also to some degree talks about his personal philosophy:
Does it surprise you that James Brown was a big fan of Ronald Reagan?