Atlanta blues singer
Tommy Brown bio & stories:
5/27/1931 - 3/12/2016
Tommy Brown, hailed during the 1950s as "one of the most dynamic entertainers in show business," has spent most of the past four decades out of the performing spotlight, but his resume of vintage records, onstage theatrics and a 21st century career revival have brought him long overdue recognition among current blues aficionados. Brown was a friend of fellow Georgia singer and 2015 Blues Hall of Fame inductee Little Richard when both were starting out, and he remembers letting Richard sleep in his station wagon when times were tough. A young James Brown picked up cues for his fabled stage show from both of them.
Brown was born in Atlanta on May 27, 1931, and began performing as a dancer when he was in the first grade. He also worked as a drummer before he became a stand-up singer. But he did much more than stand, as the Atlanta Daily World reported in 1953: ". . . he jumped off the stage, fell prostrate on the floor, got up, banged his head on the wall then fell down on his knees and wailed the blues." Brown began recording in 1950 and sang (and sobbed) on the No. 1 R&B hit Weepin' and Cryin' with the Griffin Brothers in 1951. The song evolved from a real life experience, when he broke down while singing onstage as he saw his fiancÚ walk in with another man. Humor was an important part of his show, however, and in the 1960s he began performing and recording as a comedian.
After stays in St. Louis, Chicago (where he teamed on shows with Otis Clay), and New York, Brown settled back in Atlanta in 1977 to run the Landmark West Personal Care Center, a business his mother had founded. After fans sought him out to interview him and book him on festivals in the U.S. and Europe, he began traveling and recording again in the new millennium. His Classic Tommy Brown CD, on his own Chittlin' Circuit label, reintroduced listeners to the rocking, crying and shouting blues he waxed on labels such as Savoy, King, United and Imperial. "I'm looking to retire at 103." he says, "and take up a new profession -- teach people how to love." - Source, The Blues Foundation
The above was copied from The Blues Foundation's web site as part of Tommy's 2015 Blues Hall of Fame induction. Tommy's blues career is long, storied and well documented. There are other more detailed bios around the web. Here are a few: Wikipedia All Music JammUpp HoyHoy
Did you know???
Clink on this link to learn Tommy's tale of the Bill Doggett classic hit Honky Tonk
Clink on this link to learn about Tommy's pivotal role in the career of Gladys Knight & the Pips
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