[Blues-l] Tommy Brown Gets His Props

Jef Jaisun jef@jaisunphoto.com
Thu Feb 19 12:18:39 EST 2015

Tsk, tsk. Are we going there again? Can blue men sing the whites?

Richard Penniman was a blues singer before Art 
Rupp handed him over to producer Bumps Blackwell 
with the intent of achieving commercial R&B/pop 
success. (That would be the same Bumps Blackwell 
who attended Garfield High in Seattle, and whose 
late 1930's jazz combo was managed by my father.)

Nobody has to defend Clapton any more than they'd 
have to defend Mike Bloomfield (as if anyone 
thinks Mike would ever need defending). 
Regardless of how Clapton came to the blues, 
there's no question he reveres it and its 
originators, and thus helped blow the doors open 
for it to world-wide audiences and multiple 
generations. Scuze him if he didn't pick enough 
cotton or sing his way out of prison. ;)

Yes, there are many others also deserving, and 
some should already have been chosen. That 
doesn't mean Clapton and Little Richard don't deserve to be included.

Now, Keith Richards...well...

At 08:58 AM 2/19/2015, you wrote:
>This is frankly the worst list of inductees. The 
>one exception is an actual blues singer, Tommy 
>Brown. I mean there some actual blues legends 
>who are not in yet and they select a rock and roller and a rock superstar
> > On Feb 19, 2015, at 11:52 AM, Larry Chastain 
> via Blues-l <blues-l@blues-l.com> wrote:
> >
> > From Ronda Wenger by way of facebook:
> >
> > I love it when people are recognized while we 
> still have them with us and not when it's too 
> late. Nobody deserves this more....
> >
> > Congratulations Atlanta's Own Tommy Brown!
> >
> > Blues Foundation Announces 2015 Blues Hall of Fame Inductees:
> > The Blues Foundation announces the selection 
> of three living performers to be inducted into 
> its Blues Hall of Fame. The three are Tommy 
> Brown, Eric Clapton and Little Richard. They 
> join more than 130 performers who have been 
> inducted each year beginning in 1980.
> >
> > 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 fiance´ 
> 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 
> millenium. 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."
> >
> > And this from the Blues Foundation's site:
> >
> > 2015 Blues Hall of Fame Inductees Announced
> > Posted on February 17, 2015
> >
> > The Blues Foundation announces the selection 
> of three living performers to be inducted into 
> its Blues Hall of Fame. The three are Tommy 
> Brown, Eric Clapton and Little Richard. They 
> join more than 130 performers who have been 
> inducted each year beginning in 1980.
> >
> > Eric Clapton has been tapped for induction 
> into the Blues Hall of Fame for his many 
> musical achievements as well as for his role as 
> a popularizer of the entire genre. He brought 
> the blues to audiences in his native Britain 
> and throughout the world, illuminating the work 
> of the original blues artists who inspired 
> him.” With his induction, Little Richard joins 
> an elite group of Blues Hall of Fame icons 
> including Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and Bo 
> Diddley who built upon rock ‘n’ roll’s 
> foundation in the blues. His earliest 
> recordings were in the blues vein and, 
> throughout his career, he continued to employ a 
> blues format in his work. In the early ‘50s 
> Tommy Brown broke through nationally fronting 
> the Griffin Brothers Orchestra with the #1 hit 
> “Weepin’ & Cryin’.” He brought his intuitive 
> sense of showmanship to the blues over a career 
> that has now spanned over 75 years.
> >
> > This year’s inductees’ official biographies 
> and descriptions are available, as well as for 
> all Hall of Fame inductees, at http://www.blues.org/awards-search/?cat=hof
> >
> > Their induction will be held in conjunction 
> with the three days of events May 6-8 
> surrounding the 36th Blues Music Awards on May 
> 7 and the public Grand Opening of the bricks 
> and mortar Blues Hall of Fame on May 8 in 
> Memphis, Tennessee. With living musicians like 
> B.B. King and Buddy Guy, and legends like Muddy 
> Waters and Koko Taylor, the Blues Hall of Fame 
> consists of blues music’s best and brightest stars.
> >
> > The Blues Foundation is now in the final 
> stages of the renovations needed to showcase 
> these legendary performers and their work with 
> Blues Hall of Fame exhibits at its 421 S. Main 
> headquarters in downtown Memphis. The Blues 
> Hall of Fame will honor inductees year round, 
> provide interactive and educational exhibits, 
> and create a place for serious blues fans, 
> casual visitors, and students to congregate, 
> celebrate and learn more about the Blues.
> >
> >
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