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Maceo Parker Memorabilia at NC Museum of History

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Monday June 22, 2015

James Brown always seemed like the ultimate man who invented himself. Yet even an artist as sui generis as Soul Brother No. 1 needed help to create the musical revolution that Brown unleashed in the 1960s.

Some of Brown’s most important musical support came from Eastern North Carolina, which is the essence of “Hey America!: Eastern North Carolina and the Birth of Funk,” on display at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh through February 2016. Elegantly arranged in a large display case in the main lobby, the exhibit’s artifacts include instruments played by horn man Maceo Parker and his drummer brother Melvin Parker, some of Brown’s own stage clothes and a poster for a 1967 show by one of the unsung heroes of Brown’s story, Nathaniel “Nat” Jones.

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