AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta’s own James Brown, a charter member of the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame, now official city support for the establishment of a permanent shine in his hometown.
It’s like music to the ears of Augusta city leaders being the possible future home to the National Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame.
“I’m extremely excited. I know how much economic dollars that would do not just for Richmond County and Columbia County as well. I just think we should wrap our arms around it,” says Commissioner Marion Williams.
This is what the Founder of the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame, LaMont Robinson is pitching to city leaders.
A 30 to 50 thousand square foot museum and R and B Hall of Fame,to honor musical greats like Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, and of course James Brown.
“James Brown is the greatest Rhythm and Blues entertainer in the world why not Augusta, plus I’ve been a fan of James Brown since I was five years old,” said Robinson, in a phone interview.
A location for the Hall of Fame hasn’t been selected but Robinson has been talking with people in Augusta.
“A couple of people have called me one of them was Regency Mall a couple of people told me it should be downtown maybe we should be building with conjunction with the new James Brown Arena”, Robinson said.
Commissioners say wait and see when it comes to location.
“I’m waiting to see I’m waiting to hear how far this will get down the line I do not want to muddy the water when we talk about location yet,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.
Then there’s funding for the hall, but Robinson says he will get private donations and not rely on city tax dollars.
“We will look at city, state, county, and federal government for grants but I would not put this on the ballot for taxpayers to pay for,” Robinson said.
Robinson says his time frame to be hopefully up and running is a year and a half, to two years.
This year’s induction ceremony for the R and B Hall of Fame has been postponed because of covid but Robinson says next year he wants to hold it in Augusta suggesting possibly at the Imperial Theater.