Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster
Buster Brown (August 15, 1911 – January 31, 1976) was an American blues and R&B singer best known for his hit, "Fannie Mae".
Brown was born in Cordele, Georgia. In the 1930s and 1940s he played harmonica at local clubs and made a few non-commercial recordings. These included "I'm Gonna Make You Happy" (1943), which was recorded when he played at the folk festival at Fort Valley (GA) State Teachers College, and was recorded by the Library of Congress' Folk Music Archive.
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 U.S. 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. "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. 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.
rown died in New York in 1976, at the age of 64. 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.
If blues musicians took up residency in Vegas during the late '50s, it might come out sounding like this. Brown's gleeful run through myriad blues related styles (gospel, R&B, doo wop, New Orleans, early rock & roll) casts a vaudevillian sheen over many of the 16 tracks here, placing the performance squarely in the realm of Louis Jordan's own showy style. The fact Brown had a very brief hour in the sun with his unexpected 1959 hit "Fannie Mae" further indicates his pop approach to blues probably was better suited to the lounges of the chitlin circuit than the main venues of blues and rock & roll.
His almost perfunctory versions of war horses like "St. Louis Blues" and "Blueberry Hill" reveal the downside the situation. But he does have his moments, particularly when he plies a hard, Chicago blues groove à la Little Walter on cuts like "Don't Dog Your Woman"; his harmonica sound borrows from both Walter and Sonny Terry while his singing is punctuated with timely whoops taken straight from Terry's animated vocal style. Even with more than just a few bright moments here, the good amount of watered down material ultimately makes this Brown collection a secondary choice next to prime titles by Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Wynonie Harris, and even Big Jay McNeely.
01. Fannie Mae
02. John Henry
03. The Madison Shuffle
04. St. Louis Blues
05. When Things Go Wrong (It Hurts Me Too)
06. Lost in a Dream [False Start]
07. Lost in a Dream
08. Gonna Love My Baby
09. I Got the Blues When It Rains
10. Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby?
11. Don't Dog Your Woman
12. Blueberry Hill
14. I'm Goin', But I'll Be Back
15. Good News
16. Raise a Ruckus Tonight
17. Doctor Brown
18. Sugar Babe
19. No More
20. Fannie Mae [Alternate Take]
21. Raise a Ruckus Tonight [Alternate Version]