Willie Brown

Willie Lee Brown (August 6, 1900 – December 30, 1952) was an American blues guitar player and vocalist. He performed and recorded with other notable blues musicians, including Son House and Charlie Patton, and was an influence on Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. Brown is considered one of the pioneering musicians of the Delta blues genre.

Brown was best known as a side player, performing mostly with House, Patton, and Johnson. He recorded six sides for Paramount Records in Grafton, Wisconsin in 1930, which were subsequently released on 78-rpm discs. He made three recordings for the Library of Congress in 1941, accompanied by House. In 1952, Brown briefly joined House in Rochester, New York, but soon returned to Tunica, Mississippi, where he died the same year.

Although known mostly as an accompanist rather than a soloist, Brown recorded three highly rated solo performances: "M & O Blues", "Make Me a Pallet on the Floor" and "Future Blues". He disappeared from the music scene during the 1940s, together with House, and died before the blues revival of the 1960s.

Birth and Death Data: Born August 6th, 1900 (Clarksdale), Died December 30th, 1952 (Tunica)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1930 - 1951

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, guitar


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca ATL 7012 8/30/1951 Cadillac boogie Willie Brown vocalist  
Decca ATL 7013 8/30/1951 People don't understand me Willie Brown vocalist  
Decca ATL 7014 8/30/1951 Easter Bunny boogie Willie Brown vocalist  
Decca ATL 7015 8/30/1951 Korea blues Willie Brown vocalist  
Decca L 413 10-in. 5/28/1930 M & O blues Willie Brown instrumentalist, guitar, vocalist  
Decca L 418 10-in. 5/28/1930 Future blues Willie Brown vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Brown, Willie," accessed April 23, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/201204.

Brown, Willie. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 23, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/201204.

"Brown, Willie." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 23 April 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/201204


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