Barry Brown (singer)

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Barry Brown
Birth nameBarrington Michael Brown
OriginKingston, Jamaica
Died29 May 2004
Years activeMid-1970s–2004

Barry Brown (c. 1962, Jamaica — 29 May 2004) was a Jamaican reggae singer, initially coming to prominence in the 1970s with his work with Bunny Lee, but remaining popular throughout his career.


Barry Brown was one of a number of singers to find success in the 1970s under "flying cymbals" record producer Bunny Lee. After forming a short-lived group called The Aliens with Rod Taylor and Johnny Lee,[1] Brown went solo. Although his first release, "Girl You're Always on My Mind", had little impact, his vocal style soon found popularity, with his first hit single coming with 1979's "Step It Up Youthman", which led to an album of the same name on Paradise Records.[2] One of the most successful artists of the early dancehall era, Brown worked with some of Jamaica's top producers of the time, including Linval Thompson, Winston "Niney The Observer" Holness, Sugar Minott and Coxsone Dodd, as well as releasing self-produced material.[2] He recorded for Studio One in 1983, including Far East.[2] After releasing eleven albums between 1979 and 1984, Brown's releases became more sporadic, although his work continued to feature prominently on spiritually inclined roots reggae sound systems such as that of Jah Shaka, who regularly played out tunes like Scientist and King Tubby's engineered Separation, Step it up Youthman, Enter the Kingdom of Zion and his recut of Johnny Clarke's Cool Down Your Temper, which Barry Brown retitled Cool Pon Your Corner and Natty Roots Man, of which the vocal was partially based on Johnny Clarke's Enter into His Gates With Praise , the dub being a recut of jazz standard Take Five, with Tommy McCook on flute . A number of these tracks were collected by Steve Barrow and released on Blood and Fire (record label).

In the 1990s, Brown's health deteriorated, suffering from asthma and substance abuse problems, and he died in May 2004 in Sone Waves recording studio in Kingston, Jamaica, after falling and hitting his head.[3]


  • Stand Firm (1978), Justice
  • Step It Up Youthman (1979), Paradise
  • Cool Pon Your Corner (1979), Trojan
  • Superstar (1979), Striker Lee/Jackpot
  • I'm Not So Lucky (1980), Black Roots
  • Prince Jammy ( AKA King Jammy ) Presents Barry Brown Showcase (1980), Jammy's/Micron
  • Showcase (1980), Third World
  • Artist of the 80's (1980), TR International
  • Vibes of Barry Brown (1981), Gorgon
  • Far East (1982), Channel One Studios
  • Barry (1982), Vista Sounds – reissued as The Best of Barry Brown (1995), JA Classics
  • I'm Still Waiting (1983), Rocktone Records
  • Showdown Vol 1 (1984), Empire/Hitbound – with Little John
  • Roots & Culture (1984), Uptempo – with Willi Williams
  • Right Now (1984), Time
  • More Vibes Of Barry Brown Along With Stama Rank (1986), King Culture – with Stama Rank
  • Same Sound (1990)
  • Reggae Heights (2003), Mafia & Fluxy
  • The Best of Barry Brown (1984), Culture Press
  • Barry Brown, Thompson Sound
  • Mr Moneyman (1991), Lagoon
  • Barry Brown & Johnny Clarke Sings Roots & Culture (1992), Fatman – with Johnny Clarke
  • Love & Protection (1998), Prestige
  • Showcase : Midnight Rock at Channel One Studios (1999), Abraham
  • Barry Brown Meets Cornell Campbell (2000), Culture Press
  • Platinum – the Greatest Hits (2001)
  • Roots And Culture (2002), Studio One (record label)
  • Roots Ina Greenwich Farm (2002), Cactus – with Johnny Clarke
  • Steppin Up Dub Wise (2003), Jamaican Recordings
  • Rich Man Poor Man (2003), Moll Selekta
  • At King Tubbys Studio (2007), Attack
  • Barry Brown in Dub (2010), Black Arrow


  1. ^ Liner notes to Rod Taylor's Shining Bright album
  2. ^ a b c Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0242-9, p. 40
  3. ^ "Singer Barry Brown is dead". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2012.

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