In 1931, an imposing English Tudor house, complete with stone turret and all the elements of a storybook dream house, was built at 175-19 Linden Blvd. in St. Albans on an irregular 60-by-90-foot lot.
However, it fell into foreclosure shortly after during the Great Depression and was repossessed by The Prudential Life Insurance Co.
Then in 1947, be-bop trumpet player Charles Melvin “Cootie” Williams and his wife, Catherine Moore-Williams, purchased the property.
In 1962, Williams decided to reunite with the Duke Ellington Group after trying to make it on his own. At that time, Catherine, who was recorded on the deed as the owner, transferred the property to James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul.”
Brown, who started his career in 1956, became world famous in 1966 with “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.” He lived in the house until around 1975 and passed away in 2006. He may or may not feel good to know the City of New York values the St. Albans home at $679,000 today.