The Godfather of Soul and the Coal Miner’s Daughter are among this year’s recipients of Kennedy Center Honors in the performing arts. James Brown and Loretta Lynn will join violinist Itzhak Perlman, comedienne Carol Burnett and director Mike Nichols (The Graduate) to receive the lifetime-achievement awards in Washington, D.C., December 7th.
Brown, 78, and Lynn, 68, both made their names in the Sixties. Brown broke through as a member of the Flames in the Fifties, but didn’t record “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “I Got You (I Feel Good)” until 1965. Lynn, meanwhile, scored her first hit with 1962’s aptly-named “Success”; she’s best-known, of course, for 1971’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” one of her four Number One singles, which tells the story of her Kentucky childhood.
Last year, Paul McCartney was announced as a recipient but declined to participate, citing a conflicting obligation. At the time, the Kennedy Center said McCartney would be honored this year, but a statement issued yesterday said only, “Paul McCartney will not be receiving a Kennedy Center Honor.”