Posted by themusicsover on September 10, 2009
Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown
April 18, 1924 – September 10, 2005
Although Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown is typically categorized as a blues artist, his music included elements of jazz, country, R&B and Cajun. Besides being a singer and songwriter, Brown was adept at several instruments – the guitar, harmonica, fiddle, drums and viola. Brown got his big break in 1947 when he attended a T-Bone Walker concert in Houston, Texas. When he learned that Walker became sick and could not go on, Brown grabbed a guitar and hopped up on the stage where he proceeded to dazzle the crowd with “Gatemouth Boogie.” That performance sparked a career that spanned almost 60 years. Over the years, Brown performed as many as 300 shows a year and recorded for some of the most respected labels in the business, a list that included Aladdin, Peacock, Verve, Rounder, and Alligator. In 1983, he won the Best Traditional Blues Album Grammy for Alright Again!. Suffering from lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease, Brown was living just outside of New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit in August of 2005. His house destroyed, he was moved to his childhood hometown of Orange, Texas where he passed away less than two weeks later. He was 81 years old. Sadly, when Hurricane Ike hit in 2008, Brown’s bronze casket was unearthed and floated away. It was properly re-buried later.
Thanks to Michael Devlin for the assist.
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