Roy James Brown 10 September 1925, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, d. 25 May 1981, Los Angeles, California, USA. Brown formed his own gospel quartet, the Rookie Four, and frequently sang in the local church before moving to California in 1942. After two years as a professional boxer, he began entering and winning amateur talent contests with his renditions of the pop songs of his idol, Bing Crosby. He returned to Louisiana in 1945 and formed his first jump band, the Mellodeers, for a long-term residency at the Club Granada in Galveston, Texas. There he worked for some time with Clarence Samuels as a double act, the Blues Twins, and was illicitly recorded by the local Gold Star label. By this time, Brown had eschewed Tin Pan Alley pop for jump blues, and was singing in a highly original style for the time, utilizing his gospel background and his extremely soulful voice.
Returning to New Orleans penniless in 1947, Brown tried in vain to sell a...
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