Copyright ©2006 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

NEAL CONAN, Host:

Sad news overnight of the death of James Brown. Through the day, you'll get the chance to hear and read tributes to one of the great musical innovators and performers of the 20th century, a man who lived long enough to be dubbed the godfather of soul, though to those of us old enough to remember, he'll always be soul brother number one.

Here's one of the Christmas presents he left behind.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SANTA CLAUS GO STRAIGHT TO THE GHETTO")

JAMES BROWN: (Singing) Santa Claus, go straight to the ghetto. Pick up your reindeer. Uh! Go straight to the ghetto. Santa Claus, go straight to the ghetto. In every stockings you buy, the kids are gonna love you. So, Uh! Leave a toy for Johnny. Leave a dog for Mary. Leave something pretty for Donnie. And don't forget about Gary. Santa Claus, go straight to the ghetto. Santa Claus, go straight to the ghetto. Tell him James Brown sent you. Ha! Go straight to the ghetto. You know that I know that you will see 'cause that was once me.

Hit it! Hit it! You see mothers and soul brothers.

Santa Claus, go straight to the ghetto. Santa Claus, oh lord, go straight to the ghetto. And every stocking you find, the kids are gonna love you.

So, pick up a stocking you find. You'll know they need you. So, I'm begging you Santa Claus, go straight to the ghetto. If anyone wanna know, Tell him James Brown told you so. Santa Claus, go straight to the ghetto.

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