Willie Brown: The Delta Blues Journeyman

0 Posted by - February 14, 2023 - BLACK MEN, BLACK MUSIC, LATEST POSTS

Willie Lee Brown came from a similar background as Mississippi musicians Charlie Patton, Henry Sloan, Robert Johnson, and Son House and would influence blues guitar.


Born on August 6, 1900, in Clarksdale, Mississippi he was married to guitarist Josie Mills by the age of 11. It’s possible that he picked up guitar around this time while living in Drew, Mississippi.

Throughout his career he was something of a utility player, being the second guitarist to other more notable players—especially friends Patton, House, and Johnson. As a result, Willie Brown would appear on a number of their recordings. Some of these songs made it to the Library of Congress in the early 1940s.

This isn’t to say he didn’t record his own music as he did a few songs before his death. Given the word-of-mouth nature of documenting early blues and music recording still being very young, it’s very possible he recorded other known songs under another musician’s name as is the case with Kid Bailey’s “Rowdy Blues” from 1929. It’s said that there are several songs that were recorded but lost.

Willie Brown would play in the early 1950s making the annual treks north for performances backing Son House for years. He would pass away December 30, 1952, in Tunica, Mississippi.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Brown_(musician)

-Complete Solo Recordings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JcDAi6dxC4

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