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Fans and friends reflect on James Brown bi-opic hitting theaters

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - He was known as the godfather of soul, and this Friday, a movie on the life of James Brown hits theaters.

There are some in the valley who have personal connections with the legendary singer who are excited to see his life playout on the big screen.

Brown died on Christmas Day of 2006 after complications from pneumonia.

The movie documents his rise from extreme poverty to his trouble with the law and ultimately how he became one of the most influential musicians in history.

Movie theaters help you "get on up" this weekend.

1234 that's the name of the James Brown biopic that hits theaters Friday.

"James Brown was the greatest entertainer of all time," said Larry white.

Larry White is the co-owner of Mrs. Wright's Golden Rule on Jefferson & 8th Street. He saw a special showing of the movie last night.

White says it took him back to the first time he saw James Brown perform at the Celebrity Theater.

"I went to the James Brown concert at the Celebrity Theater, he stopped the show and looked at us and said "brother, you sure know the songs," and I said "please, please, try me, living in America, eye to eye," said White.

And he says the movie is going to be a hit.

"He was a very unusual person, but extremely gifted, and very generous," said Marty Cox.

Marty Cox, from Phoenix, was friends with Brown for 40 years. He showed us never before seen video he took of the godfather of soul.

FOX 10 asked Cox if he knew the movie was going to be made about him before he died. "Yeah, he knew the movie would eventually be made, a few years before he died he had something planned with another studio, but it didn't happen," said Cox.

Cox hasn't seen the new movie yet, but he plans to. Mick Jagger was one of the producers.

"Mick Jagger and so many other really big stars were just die hard James Brown fans," he said.

Cox said that James Brown would often stop in Phoenix on the way to concerts in Los Angeles. He often stopped at Mrs. White's Golden Rule as it was one of his favorite places to eat.

"As you can see we always keep James, right now he was the number one man, he used to pull the whole bus up here in Mrs. White's Cafe," said White.

He said the movie portrays the ups and the downs of the soul singer.

"It'll be a big hit, and it'll be a big hit if you love James Brown, it will be a big hit, for those who don't know James Brown you will find out while he was the godfather of soul that he was the godfather of music," he said.

Larry White said Brown would have loved every bit of the movie; it's from the director of "The Help." Chadwick Boseman plays Brown in the movie; he recently played baseball legend Jackie Robinson in the movie "42."
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