Rabbit Brown

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Rabbit Brown
Birth name Richard Brown
Born c. 1880
In or near New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died c. 1937
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Genres Country blues
Occupation(s) Singer, guitarist
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active Early 1910s–1930
Labels Victor Records

Richard "Rabbit" Brown (c. 1880 – c. 1937)[1] was an American blues guitarist and composer. His music was characterized by a mixture of blues, pop songs, and original topical ballads. On May 11, 1927, he recorded six singles for Victor Records. "James Alley Blues" is included in the Anthology of American Folk Music and has been covered by Bob Dylan and others.


Rabbit Brown was most likely born around 1880 in or near New Orleans, Louisiana. He did live in New Orleans from his youth on, and eventually moved to a rough district called the Battlefield. Here, several events inspired some of his future songs.[1]

Rabbit Brown mainly performed at nightclubs and on the street. A couple of his most popular songs were his topical ballads, "The Downfall of the Lion" and "Gyp the Blood", which were based on actual events that occurred in New Orleans.[1]

Brown died in 1937, probably in New Orleans.[1]

Five of his recordings appear on the compilation album The Greatest Songsters: Complete Works (1927-1929).[1]

In 2003 an anthology collection of rural acoustic gospel music titled Goodbye, Babylon was released, bringing to renewed public attention one of the two known recordings made by an otherwise undocumented singer named Blind Willie Harris. This piece, "Where He Leads Me I Will Follow," was recorded in New Orleans in 1929, and in describing it, the authors of the CD liner notes pointed out its "strikingly similar" resemblance to the 1927 New Orleans recordings of Richard Rabbit Brown. Since then, more discussion has ensued among early blues and gospel collectors and scholars, leading some to state without equivocation that Harris was a pseudonym of Brown's. Each listener will have to decide for him or herself the truth of the claim, as no documentation has been found to link Harris with Brown.


Rabbit Brown[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Bush, John. "Biography". Allmusic.com. Retrieved December 24, 2009. 
  2. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 9. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 

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