|Joe Brown, Brilliance with a Sense of Humor|
Joe Brown was born in Lincolnshire, but grew up in London's East End. Joe had begun his musical career as a member of a skiffle group. His natural ability with the guitar made him popular both with his audience and other musicians who wanted him to back them. Joe's big break came on Jack Good's third TV music show "Boy Meets Girl", although Jack had actually found Joe as his previous show "Oh Boy!" came to the end of its series.
Although it may not have had the rock and roll credentials of his previous shows, "Boy Meets Girl" was still very popular and hosted some of the best American acts to visit the UK during the late 1950s. Through his involvement with the show - and his great skill - Joe got the opportunity to play with artists like Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent who he also backed on tour.
Joe's early professional musical career included playing guitar with Johnny Cash, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and appearing with Bill Haley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Chuck Berry, whilst Brian Epstein, who promoted some of Joe's shows in the North West of England in the early days, gave the opening slot a few times to a young band which he was then interested in working with called The Beatles.
Joe formed his own group Joe Brown & The Bruvvers in 1960 and had numerous top ten chart entries, the best known of which "Picture Of You" reaching number one and staying on the charts for months. Joe's chart career was slow to start, and it took him two years before he achieved a major placing. However, his skill with a guitar and his cheeky cockney humour made him a popular performer and a sought after backing musician. Although Joe's career in some respects mirrored that of his friend Marty Wilde, he did not suffer quite the same level of decline as Marty during the late 1960s, even achieving a chart entry with the Lennon and McCartney penned "With A Little Help From My Friends" during 1967. In the early seventies he formed the acclaimed "Brown's Home Brew" which included his late wife Vicki and Joe Fagin, their music was a mixture of Country Rock and Gospel. The band toured the college and rock club circuit and had two albums released by Vertigo records.
Joe's chart career is probably over (he last charted in 1973), but he is now loved as much for his personality as his music. It may even be that Joe's cockney humour has reduced his credibility as a serious musician, but he is undoubtedly one of the greatest of the popular guitarists to have emerged from the 1960s. Joe has starred in six major motion pictures, among which are numbered What A Crazy World, Three Hats For Lisa, Spike Milligan Meets Joe Brown and Mona Lisa with Bob Hoskins.
With Television appearances over three and a half decades and an entry in The Debrettes book it would be an understatement to say that Joe is well known. He has appeared many times on the West End stage, having starred opposite Dame Anna Neagle in Charlie Girl in 1965 and again with Cyd Charisse in 1986 and with a seven month run of Pump Boys And Dinettes in 1985, a show which he then took on tour directing it himself.
Of course, we rockers love Joe best for his guitar playing with Billy Fury on Billy's most sought after LP "The Sound Of Fury". In the linernotes of the double album "The Billy Fury Story", Bill Williams notes: "One can only marvell at the overall sound, the feel of Fury's vocals and the brilliant Memphis style guitar of Joe Brown. A worthwhile tribute to the guitar playing of pioneers like Carl Perkins and Scotty Moore."
For full details, visit Joe Brown's Official Website:
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