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Episode #661 – Charles Brown: 1949-52

Air Week: January 2-8, 2023

Charles Brown: 1949-52

Charles Brown was the “King of Smoky Blues” for over 50 years. Growing up in Texas City, TX, he studied classical piano while focusing his interests on science, becoming a chemistry teacher for a short time. A move to Los Angeles in 1943, hooked him up with Johnny Moore, who hired him to sing and play piano with The Three Blazers. Right out of the gate, they scored a huge, #2 R&B record in 1946 with “Driftin’ Blues” and would go on to hit the top ten no less than 10 times over the next 2 years. This week’s “Juke In The Back” focuses on Charles Brown’s career after he left Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers in 1948. As a solo artist, Brown kept the hits coming, racking up 5 top 10 records in 1949 alone. He scored 2 #1s with “Trouble Blues” in ’49 and “Black Night” in ’51, 2 of the best selling records in their respective years of release. Brown’s star began to fade as Rock n’ Roll entered the mainstream during the mid-’50s, but he would have a giant comeback in the 1980s and ’90s, finally getting inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Fame in ’99. Matt The Cat examines his hit-making years of 1949-52 on this week’s “Juke In The Back.”


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