A piece of music history hits the small screen on Saturday night (April 5) when VH1 and VH1 Classic premiere “The Night James Brown Saved Boston” at 9 p.m.
The film, directed by David Leaf (“The U.S. vs. John Lennon,” “Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson & the Story of SMiLE”), chronicles April 4, 1968, the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. In Boston, Mayor Kevin White considered canceling a performance by R&B great Brown scheduled for that night, but was persuaded not to by a local DJ and by Boston’s lone black city councilman. Instead, they decided to televise the concert live and encourage fans to stay home and watch it on the TV instead of going out.
The concert is widely regarded as one of the greatest moments in Brown’s career, and was credited for keeping the peace in racially charged Boston while other cities burned.
The documentary includes rare footage from the show as well as interviews with Brown’s band members and other colleagues, Boston city officials, fans and commentators such as Dr. Cornel West, Dr. Andrew Young and the Rev. Al Sharpton.
More information on the film and subsequent showings is available at www.vh1.com.