Tommy Brown

ATLANTA BOOGIE - Tommy Brown is a popular musician in Atlanta, Georgia, and one certain to have inspired a young Little Richard, who hailed from Macon, south of Atlanta, and who was not yet the "architect of rock and roll." While Richard later would become the architect, Tommy Brown before him was already setting foundations, building houses, rocking them, and tearing them down. All metaphors aside, the listener who is given to argument about the labels given to musical styles, and who would call this recording anything but pure rock and roll, is misguided.

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THE HOUSE NEAR THE RAILROAD TRACK -Recorded in Atlanta, this is the flip side of Atlanta Boogie. The disc was released in 1949 on both the Regent and Acorn labels (subsidiary of Savoy). Atlanta's Tommy Brown, in the late 1940's and early 50's, was the feature vocalist for the Griffin Brothers. He recorded with them for the Dot label out of Gallatin, Tenn., then went solo on the Savoy label, and later recorded for King, United, Imperial, and with Groove as Little Tommy Brown. He was obviously a major influence in late-40's Atlanta, a city now known for the constellation of rising stars it had at the time, such as a young James Brown, Billy Wright, and Little Richard. While with the Griffin Brothers in 1951, Tommy Brown hit the local charts with "Weeping and Crying." He recorded with pianists Bill Doggett in 1955, and Paul Gayten, in 1957. Tommy Brown, now in his 70's, is still playing actively. After 55 years of playing R&B in America, he finally played his first gig in the United Kingdom on Nov.23, 2002 at the Rhythm Riot Festival in Rye, England.

  1. Atlanta Boogie, 1949 (first minute)
  2. The House Near The Railroad Track, 1949 (first minute)

This email was send to us in December 2003 by, Larry Chastain, a personal friend of Tommy Brown's:

Blues shouter Tommy Brown hit the nightclub scene starting in the late
1940s.  Tommy recorded for major R&B labels in the 1950s, including Savoy,
Dot, King, United, Groove, and Imperial.  Mr. Brown charted several times
and received a BMI award for his #1 R&B hit "Weepin and Cryin".  Tommy
moved from singing to comedy in the 1960s.  In recent decades, Mr. Brown
had put performing on the back burner and provided personal care services
and advocacy for people with mental retardation, elderly people, and people
with AIDS.  Tommy Brown has returned to singing the past couple of
years.  While continuing his civic work, Brown has been playing around
Atlanta and has been featured at Blues Estafette in Holland, Rhythm Riot in
England, the Chicago Blues Festival, and similar events.

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