A Video Tribute to Oscar Brown, Jr.

Oscar Brown, Jr. (1926 – 2005)

This piece was originally intended as a birthday tribute to Oscar Brown, Jr. I couldn’t move fast enough to get it out last month, but the tracks were too good to languish in the draft file, so here it is a month later.

Many know Mr. Brown for “But I Was Cool”, one of his lighter pieces, which achieved some fame when a deodorant company used it (with Brown’s vocals) to advertise their product.

Oscar Brown was the natural predecessor to Gil Scott-Heron and other spoken word music poets. He composed over 1,000 songs, at least a dozen plays and recorded 12 albums, including the classic “Sin and Soul”; during his lifetime. He was also a political activist, who ran for the Illinois State Legislature and Congress.

I usually keep the text to a minimum during these video tribute posts and this one will be no exception, so here now are some great performances by a legendary griot.

Let’s start with this terrific overview:

Here he adds a heartfelt touch to Bobby Timmons’ “Dat Dere”

“The Snake” – with that irresistible refrain

And one of his best, IMHO, “Mr. Kicks”


One Response to “A Video Tribute to Oscar Brown, Jr.”

  1. Thanks for your piece. My older sister gave me Heaven and Hell when I was 12 thinking I’d like Hazels Hips (Idid), it became a life manual for me. His music should be taght in schools. I def see a line to Gil Scott-Heron. another favorite of mine. Hell Winter in America ought be topin the charts today! A long, cold one Anyway, Thanks
    Peace, Bobby D.

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