This is more than just an album by the late R&B great Charles Brown. It’s truly the story of a life – a scrapbook of history, photos, testimonials, music, vintage film clips, a live concert, discography, and more packed onto a CD, DVD, and liner booklet.
Brown was truly one of the stars of rhythm and blues. He boasted some 26 Billboard chart hits, numerous Grammy nominations, multiple WC Handy Awards, and a ’97 National Endowment For The Arts National Heritage Award. Last, but far from least, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, the year of his death.
Above all, however, he made great music. This CD collects 10 tracks from a 1990 concert at the Lone Star Roadhouse, backed by a DVD film of the performance. The show includes several of his greatest hits, including “Drifting Blues,” “Seven Long Days,” and “Merry Christmas Baby.”
Best yet are two short films of Brown with Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers in 1945. These “soundies” are part old-time kitsch, part classic cool, showing the band making R&B history.
If you’re a Brown fan, you can’t be without this collection.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s June ’04 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.