Buster Brown (musician)

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Buster Brown
Born(1911-08-15)August 15, 1911
Cordele, Georgia, United States
DiedJanuary 31, 1976(1976-01-31) (aged 64)
New York City, United States
GenresBlues, R&B
Years active1943–1976
LabelsFire, Checker

Buster Brown (August 15, 1911 – January 31, 1976)[1] was an American blues and R&B singer best known for his hit, "Fannie Mae".[1]


Brown was born in Cordele, Georgia.[1] In the 1930s and 1940s he played harmonica at local clubs and made a few non-commercial recordings. These included "War Song" and "I'm Gonna Make You Happy" (1943), which were recorded when he played at the folk festival at Fort Valley (GA) State Teachers College, for the Library of Congress' Folk Music Archive.[2]

Brown moved to New York in 1956, where he was discovered by Fire Records owner Bobby Robinson. In 1959, at almost fifty years of age, Brown recorded the rustic blues, "Fannie Mae", which featured Brown's harmonica playing and whoops, which went to # 38 in the US Top 40, and to #1 on the R&B chart in April 1960. His remake of Louis Jordan's "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby" reached # 81 on the pop charts later in 1960, but did not make the R&B chart.[3][4] "Sugar Babe" was his only other hit, in 1962, reaching # 19 on the R&B chart and # 99 on the pop chart.

In later years he recorded for Checker Records and for numerous small record labels.[5] He also co-wrote the song "Doctor Brown" with J. T. Brown, which was later covered by Fleetwood Mac on their 1968 album, Mr. Wonderful.

His song "Fannie Mae" enjoyed further attention in 1973 when it was included in the film American Graffiti and the best selling soundtrack 41 Original Hits From The Soundtrack Of American Graffiti.


Brown died in New York City in 1976, at the age of 64.[1]

It is often erroneously cited that Brown's real name was "Wayman Glasco" – however, that was Brown's manager who, after his death, bought all of Brown's publishing – thus unintentionally creating the confusion. Though likely a nickname, or alias, Buster Brown may have been his birth name.[citation needed]


Studio album[edit]

  • New King of the Blues (Fire, 1961)


  • Raise a Ruckus Tonight (DJM, 1976)
  • Toughest Terry & Baddest Brown (Sundown, 1986) – with Sonny Terry
  • Good News (Charly, 1989)
  • The Very Best of Buster Brown (Collectables, 1999)


  1. ^ a b c d Doc Rock. "The 1970s". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  2. ^ Dixon, Robert, John Godrich, and Howard Rye, comps. Blues and Gospel Records 1890–1943, 4th Ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997, p. 107. ISBN 0-19-816239-1
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955–2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 84. ISBN 0-89820-155-1.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 48.
  5. ^ "Buster Brown". AllMusic. Retrieved September 6, 2012.

External links[edit]