Nappy Brown

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Nappy Brown
NappyBrownTokyo1996.jpg
Nappy Brown in Tokyo, Japan, 1996.
Background information
Birth name Napoleon Brown Goodson Culp
Also known as Nappy Brown
Born (1929-10-12)October 12, 1929
Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Died September 20, 2008(2008-09-20) (aged 78)
Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Genres R&B
Soul
Blues
Occupations Vocalist, musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1954–2008
Associated acts The Heavenly Lights, Nappy Brown and the Heartfixers

Napoleon Brown Goodson Culp[1] (October 12, 1929 – September 20, 2008)[2][3] better known by his stage name Nappy Brown, was an American R&B singer. His hits include the 1955 Billboard chart #2, "Don't Be Angry"[4] and "Night Time Is the Right Time". His style is instantly recognizable; Brown used a wide vibrato, melisma, and distinctive extra syllables, in particular, "li-li-li-li-li."

Biography[edit]

Brown was the son of Kathryn Culp and Sammie Lee Brown. After his mother died he was brought up by Fred and Maggie Culp. They attended Gethsemane AME Zion Church and he attended school in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Early career[edit]

He began his career singing gospel music before switching to R&B.[5] In 1954 he won a recording contract with Savoy Records, which yielded a series of hits, including "Don't Be Angry" (#2 R&B, #25 pop, 1955), "Pitter Patter" (#10 R&B, 1955), and "It Don't Hurt No More" (#8 R&B, #89 pop, 1958).[6] Brown was among the biggest stars in R&B,[7][8] frequently touring with the revues of Alan Freed.[9]

His songs, along with those of his peers and contemporaries (such as Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Fats Domino), were among the first wave of African-American pop music to become noticed and popular with white audiences.[10] Elvis Presley reportedly used to see Brown perform whenever he appeared in Memphis.[5] In addition to Brown's influence on blues music, and 1950s R&B and pop, Brown's powerful and protean voice, combined with his distinctive emotive style, is widely viewed as a key link in the development of soul music.[8][11]

1980s comeback[edit]

In the early 1980s, a renewed interest in R&B led to some of Brown's early songs being released on European albums. At the urging of Bob Margolin, former guitarist for Muddy Waters's band and a fan of Brown, Brown returned to the music industry, beginning with a successful tour of Scandinavia in 1983.[12] In 1984, 14 years since his last recording, Brown signed with Landslide Records and released the album Tore Up[13] with The Heartfixers.[14][15] Other recordings followed.[16]

Brown's Savoy Records hit, "Piddly Patter" was featured in the John Waters film, Cry-Baby, starring Johnny Depp.[17]

Later life[edit]

Nappy Brown's final album, Long Time Coming, recorded in May 2007, on Blind Pig Records, was released on September 25, 2007. Reviews were overwhelmingly positive (4-1/2 stars from Allmusic);[18][19][20] the album and Brown were each nominated for a Blues Music Award (the genre's highest honor).[21] The album, produced by Scott Cable, featured the guitarists Sean Costello, Bob Margolin, Junior Watson, and other special guests including baritone saxophonist Joe Sunseri performing Brown's hits and several new songs. In the fall of 2007, Nappy Brown was Living Blues Magazine's September cover artist, and followed that honor with a European tour.[22] Brown was a musical guest on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion on October 20, 2007.[23]

At the ceremony for the Blues Music Awards in May 2008, Brown gave one last electrifying performance, capping an incredible comeback year.[24][25]

On June 1, 2008 following a performance at the Crawfish Festival in Augusta, New Jersey, Brown fell ill due to series of ailments and was hospitalized.[26] He died in his sleep on September 20, 2008 at Mercy Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina.[3][27]

Brown was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame on August 24, 2002.

Recordings[edit]

Roots To Scandinavian Blues (LP 1983/remastred 2009) with Knut Reiersrud guitar. Hot Club Records/Jon Larsen

References[edit]

  1. ^ Doc Rock. "2008 July to December". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  2. ^ "The Right Time for Nappy Brown - Charlotte Magazine - March 2008 - Charlotte, NC". Charlotte Magazine. 1929-10-12. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  3. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  4. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002 (ISBN 0-89820-155-1)
  5. ^ a b Juke Blues no.66, 2008, p.60
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 52. 
  7. ^ Beecher, Jonathan (1955-10-06). ""Flip Flop n Fly" | The Harvard Crimson". Thecrimson.com. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  8. ^ a b Dahl, Bill (1929-10-12). "allmusic ((( Nappy Brown > Biography )))". Allmusicguide.com. Retrieved 2010-07-26. [dead link]
  9. ^ Crowther, Bosley (1957-02-23). "Screen: 'Mister Cory'; 'Success Story' a la Hollywood Arrives". The New York Times. [dead link]
  10. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^ "Night Time If The CD". Buy.com. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  12. ^ "Blues Fest 2007: Plenty of Juice in the Battery - Nappy Brown: Friday, 10:30 p.m., Tent Stage". Rcreader.com. 2007-06-27. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  13. ^ "Tore Up: Nappy Brown & The Heartfixers: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  14. ^ "Landslide Records". Landslide Records. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  15. ^ [3][dead link]
  16. ^ "Nappy Brown". Koti.mbnet.fi. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  17. ^ "Cry Baby: Original Soundtrack Album: Various Artists: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  18. ^ "Nappy Brown "Long Time Coming" CD Reviews". Bobcorritore.com. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  19. ^ Bill Mitchell (2007-11-30). "Blues Bytes Pick Hit". Bluenight.com. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  20. ^ [4][dead link]
  21. ^ [5][dead link]
  22. ^ [6][dead link]
  23. ^ "A Prairie Home Companion for October 20, 2007 from American Public Media". Prairiehome.publicradio.org. 2007-10-20. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  24. ^ "Tim Holek". Timholekblues.ca. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  25. ^ [7][dead link]
  26. ^ [8][dead link]
  27. ^ "Blind Pig Records". Blind Pig Records. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 

External links[edit]