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James Brown Auction Nets $800,000

July 18, 2008 9:20 AM ET

A lot full of items from James Brown's South Carolina home went to auction yesterday at Christie's, under protest from the soul singer's children and business managers. Among the 350-odd items that sold were Brown's medical bracelet, which was bought for $32,500 by Letterman musician Paul Shaffer, and an autographed Snoop Dogg picture that's signed "2 Uncle James Brown." That item got a winning bid of $875. Brown's famed Hammond organ only sold for $10,000, while the Godfather of Soul's embossed black cape got a winning bid of $47,500. The house cleaning continued with a $40,000 sale of Brown's pink leather couches from the home. Also going was his stereo system, clothing and framed photographs. The auction reportedly took in a total of $800,000 (short of the projected two million Christie's was anticipating), with the money expected to be used to pay Brown's outstanding tax bills.

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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