nappy brown


Napoleon Brown Goodson Culp (October 12, 1929 – September 20, 2008) better known as Nappy Brown, was an American R&B singer. His hits include the 1955 Billboard chart #2, "Don't Be Angry", "Little By Little", and "Night Time Is the Right Time". His style was recognizable; using a wide vibrato and extra syllables.

Brown was the son of Kathryn Culp and Sammie Lee Brown. After his mother died he was brought up by Fred and Maggie Culp. They attended Gethsemane AME Zion Church and he attended school in Charlotte, North Carolina.

He began his career singing gospel music before switching to R&B. In 1954 he won a recording contract with Savoy Records, which yielded a series of hits, including "Don't Be Angry" (#2 R&B, #25 pop, 1955), "Pitter Patter" (#10 R&B, 1955), "Little By Little" (#57 pop, 1956), and "It Don't Hurt No More" (#8 R&B, #89 pop, 1958). Brown was among the biggest stars in R&B, frequently touring with Alan Freed.

His songs, along with those of his peers and contemporaries (such as Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Fats Domino), were among the first wave of African-American pop music to become noticed and popular with white audiences. Elvis Presley reportedly used to see Brown perform whenever he appeared in Memphis.  In addition to Brown's influence on blues music, and 1950s R&B and pop, Brown's powerful and fluctuating voice, combined with his distinctive impassioned style, is widely viewed as a key link in the development of soul music.

In the early 1980s, a renewed interest in R&B led to some of Brown's early songs being released on European albums. Brown returned to the music industry at the urging of Bob Margolin, former guitarist for Muddy Waters's band and a fan of Brown His resurgence began with a successful tour of Scandinavia in 1983. In 1984, 14 years since his last recording, Brown signed with Landslide Records and released the album Tore Up with The Heartfixers.  Other recordings followed.

Nappy Brown's final album, Long Time Coming, recorded in May 2007, on Blind Pig Records, was released on September 25, 2007. Reviews were positive.  The album and Brown were each nominated for a Blues Music Award. The album, produced by Scott Cable, featured the guitarists Sean Costello, Bob Margolin, Junior Watson, and other special guests including baritone saxophonist Joe Sunseri performing Brown's hits and several new songs. In the fall of 2007, Nappy Brown was Living Blues magazine's September cover artist, and followed that honor with a European tour. Brown was a musical guest on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion on October 20, 2007.

On June 1, 2008 following a performance at the Crawfish Festival in Augusta, New Jersey, Brown fell ill due to series of ailments and was hospitalized. He died in his sleep on September 20, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Brown was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame on August 24, 2002.

tinsley ellis

Tinsley Ellis

Tinsley Ellis (born June 4, 1957) is an American blues and rock musician, who was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and grew up in South Florida. According to Billboard, "nobody has released more consistently excellent blues albums than Atlanta's Tinsley Ellis. He sings like a man possessed and wields a mean lead guitar."

His love for electric blues grew by listening to British Invasion bands such as the Yardbirds, the Animals, Cream, and the Rolling Stones. Inspired by a live appearance by B.B. King, he was determined to become a blues guitarist. In 1975, he played with the Haygood Band while attending Emory University near Atlanta. Two years later, already an accomplished musician, he returned to Atlanta and joined his first professional blues band, the Alley Cats, a group that included Preston Hubbard of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Ellis graduated from Emory in 1979 with a degree in history. In 1981, he formed the Heartfixers, with the singer and harmonica player Chicago Bob Nelson.  The group recorded three albums for the small Landslide record label, one with the singer, Nappy Brown before breaking up in 1988. The same year, Ellis signed a recording contract with Chicago's Alligator Records.

His debut solo album on Alligator Records, Georgia Blue, was released in 1988. Alligator then reissued two of his earlier CDs, Cool On It and Tore Up (featuring Nappy Brown). Ellis' next four releases were Fanning the Flames (1989), Trouble Time (1992), Storm Warning (1994), and Fire It Up (1997). Artists including Peter Buck (of R.E.M.), Derek Trucks, and Chuck Leavell joined him in the studio. Ellis' reputation and media coverage continued to grow.

Ellis shifted to Capricorn Records in 2000 and released Kingpin. In 2002 he joined Telarc Records, producing two CDs: Hell or High Water and The Hard Way. All the while Ellis never stopped touring. "A musician never got famous by staying home," Ellis says.[citation needed] Ellis claims to have performed live, at least once, in all 50 of the United States.

He returned to Alligator Records in 2005 with the live album, Live! Highwayman. In 2007 he released the studio album, Moment of Truth, followed in 2009 with Speak No Evil.

He has shared stages with Warren Haynes, Widespread Panic, the Allman Brothers Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Thackery, Otis Rush, Willie Dixon, Son Seals, Koko Taylor, Albert Collins and Buddy Guy.

In early 2013, Ellis was a part of the 'Blues at the Crossroads 2' tour which celebrated the music of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. The tour also included Kim Wilson and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, James Cotton, Bob Margolin and Jody Williams.

Also in 2013, Ellis launched his own label, Heartfixer Music, and has since released several albums: the all instrumental Get It!, Midnight Blue, Tough Love and, in 2016, Red Clay Soul.

In 2014, Ellis was a guest performer on Eli Cook's album, Primitive Son.

In 2017, Ellis launched a new side project called Tinsley Ellis Blues Is Dead, in which he performs the blues and R&B songs recorded by Grateful Dead and other Fillmore era acts.

chicago bob

Chicago Bob Nelson

"Chicago" Bob Nelson (July 4, 1944 – January 17, 2013) was an American blues musician.

"Chicago" Bob Nelson was a harmonica player and singer who is known for integrating Louisiana and Chicago blues styles. He was outstanding in being mentored by traditional rural southern blues harmonica practitioners and melding their approach with urban Chicago playing.  This help create his own distinctive sound.

Robert Lee Nelson was born in Bogalusa, Louisiana to a musical family. Bob's father, Versie Nelson, played upright bass and harmonica. From an early age Bob accompanied Versie to house parties, backyard barbecues and Saturday night fish fries around Bogalusa where cajun music, zydeco and blues were performed. Nelson recalled, "It was just people eating, jamming and having a good time!" Nelson began playing the harmonica at the age of eight. As a youngster he was encouraged and instructed by Versie's musical cohorts, Louisiana blues musicians (and Excello recording artists) Slim Harpo and Lazy Lester. Nelson credited Harpo, Lester, Sonny Boy Williamson II and Jimmy Reed (all of whom he knew) as his primary influences, as well as Sonny Boy Williamson I whose recordings he studied. Through listening to these artists, Nelson learned to use his instrument as a "second voice" to interpret and elucidate the emotion and themes of a song. Trips to Chicago to visit family were a major part of Nelson's childhood.

By the early 1960s he had taken up residence in Chicago. There he met and performed with Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Earl Hooker and Muddy Waters. During his stay in Chicago, the vocalist formed the Chicago Bob Blues Band and performed locally. He moved to Boston, MA, in the late '60s, when he worked outside the music industry for some time. He returned to music in the early '70s, performing alongside John Lee Hooker and Johnny Shines. The latter, having run into Nelson at nearly every blues venue in Chicago, bestowed upon him the moniker that continues to identify him today. Nelson later performed with Muddy Waters at the Newport Folk Festival. Throughout his career Nelson toured with Luther "Snake Boy" Johnson, Tinsley Ellis and John Lee Hooker.

In later years, Chicago Bob worked primarily with two bands -- the Heartfixers and the Shadows -- but continued to perform both on his own and with others. Though his releases appeared sporadically over the years, he continued recording into the '90s.

Nelson died on January 17, 2013.