Gone but Hardly Forgotten, an Idol Isn’t Buried Yet, Either

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AUGUSTA, Ga., Jan. 24 — More than a month after the death of the legendary soul singer James Brown, his body still has not been laid to rest, a circumstance that has dismayed his friends and bewildered residents here in the town that has honored him as a native son.

“He wrote a song about this,” said Charles A. Reid Jr., a funeral director and a lifelong friend who is holding Mr. Brown’s body while his survivors and the trustees of his estate squabble over control. “ ‘Papa Don’t Take No Mess.’ That’s what he’d be hollering now.”

The six children Mr. Brown acknowledged in his will want his body placed in a mausoleum on his 60-acre property just across the South Carolina state line near the Savannah River, an estate they hope will become a museum and memorial park akin to Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley in Memphis, which has long been a lucrative tourist attraction. But the children are in a financial dispute with the trustees of the Brown estate, and it is possible Mr. Brown will not be laid to rest until it is settled.

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