New ‘Walk of Fame’ inducts Brown, Knight

by Kalin Thomas Staff Writer | 5/10/2013, noon
Grammy Award winners Gladys Knight and the late “Godfather of Soul” James Brown are the first two inductees into what ...
Yamma Brown, daughter of the late “Godfather of Soul” James Brown, accepts an award for her father as he and Gladys Knight are the first to be inducted into the future Music Walk of Fame on Auburn Ave. (Photo by Vincent Christie).

Brown agreed saying, “My father loved Atlanta and if he were here today he’d say, ‘Don’t let Auburn Avenue go down, let’s fight to get it restored because this is your pulse and the pulse of the city’.”

Radio personality Silas “SiMan Baby” Alexander, whose station is one of the sponsors of the Sweet Auburn Music Fest added: “When you think of New York you think of Times Square, when you think of Miami you think of South Beach, when you think of New Orleans you think of the French Quarter. But Atlanta doesn’t have that ‘first thought’ destination -- other than The King Center. So I think creating this Walk of Fame makes Auburn Avenue a very important [destination].”

After the press conference, participants got a chance to tour the Royal Peacock -- now a reggae club -- which is expected to be restored to its glory days.

Native Atlantan Bernard Bradley, who grew up in the Sweet Auburn district on Butler Street (now Jesse Hill Drive), said touring the club brought back great memories.

“I first came to the Royal Peacock when I turned 18 in 1962. And I got a chance to see James Brown and The Supremes here that year. And I danced a many dances on this dance floor. Back then this was the place to be,” exclaimed Bradley.

Muhammad concluded, “Through the Music Walk of Fame we’re creating a movement where Auburn Avenue is once again the place to be.”