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Willie Brown
Willie Brown
One of the most influential of the early Delta blues guitarists, Willie Brown was arguably the quintessential accompanist of his era, most notably backing legends including Charley Patton and Son House. Born August 6, 1900 in Clarksdale, MS, Brown was an affecting singer and an extraordinary guitarist, but spent the vast majority of his career as a sideman, with his ability to "second" other players much celebrated among his peers. In addition to performing alongside Robert Johnson, he appeared on many of the seminal sides cut by Patton between 1929 and 1934, including a legendary 1930 Paramount label session that also yielded two of the three existing Brown solo cuts, "M & O Blues" and "Future Blues," as well as material with barrelhouse pianist Louise Johnson. His final solo performance, "Make Me a Pallet on the Floor," originated from a 1941 Alan Lomax Library of Congress field recording; during the same session, Brown also backed Son House. (With regard to Brown's own discography, it should be noted that among blues scholars there is some debate over the origins of a 1929 track called "Rowdy Blues"; credited to one Kid Bailey, it's believed in some quarters that it is in fact Brown under an assumed name, while others contend that he merely played second guitar on the date instead.) Little to nothing is known of Brown's later years, and he died in Tunica, MS on December 30, 1952. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
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