James Brown's Funky ChristmasWhile the kids were opening presents (the Nintendo DS made them forget that they had other presents still wrapped under the tree), I was sad to hear that James Brown had passed away this Christmas Day.

Although I'm sure many people remember the singer as quite the showman both on and off the stage, I had the chance to meet and work with him and his tour 20 or so years ago (a past stint in entertainment that lead to my work in high tech, when I traveled with an early Macintosh).

Even then -- in his mid 50's -- Mr. Brown gave every show 110%, and was kind to the people on his crew and loved the audience: he played the longest sets of just about any performer I've seen play live.

If you get the chance and you have a Zune pass or Rhapsody (or other) music subscription service, take a listen today to Mr. Brown's renditions of "Merry Christmas Baby" and "Please Come Home For Christmas" from his Funky Christmas album. You'll be glad you did.