Friday, I meant to get a happy birthday post up to honor the life of the late great Clarence Gatemouth Brown. I was a bit distracted by the usual whatnot, so I hope to combine this announcement...
Since this weekend is also the anniversary of Earth Day, here's a track that combines both Gate's birthday, and his interest in ecology. Here's "Man and his Environment" from a mid 1970's release "Gate's On The Heat", that aimed a song at outgoing prez Nixon, and presciently predates our current Republican President's vague recognition of global warming.
Clarence Gatemouth Brown - Man and His Environment
How ironic that his final days as an 81 year old man suffering from cancer were spent evacuating his Slidell Louisiana home, and dealing with the effects of the catastrophic consequences of Hurricane Katrina, and the lame government response to the aftermath.
Clarence Gatemouth Brown was born in Orange Texas on April 18th 1924, and he began playing music professionally in the post war 1940's period. After winning over the crowd's at Houston's Peacock club, he also recorded originally for The Peacock label. His "Oakie Dokie Blues" becoming one of the all time electric guitar showcases in the genre. He eventually ended up in Nashville heading up the houseband for 26 episodes of the Beat TV show in the early 60's.
After decades of juke joints and obscurity, ups & downs, and even a stint as a deputy sheriff, in the 1980's his southern blues stylings and immense musical talents were finally better recognized and he won a blues Grammy for his Rounder album 'Alright Again!'.
Gatemouth was increasingly sought out on the festival circuit, and played up to 300 dates a year. He was even recognized by the US State Dept as an official American ambassador of music, and had toured worldwide, including war torn and politically unstable places like East Africa, Central America and parts of the former Soviet Union. He released "Timeless", his last album of a 60 year career, shortly before he died in a stressful period of September 2005 right after moving out of his flooded home during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
One of the unique aspects of Clarence Gatemouth Brown's popularity were his appearances on Hee Haw with pal Roy Clark. Here's a tune from a record they did together in the late 1970's...
Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown & Roy Clark - The Drifter
From Makin' Music released on MCA in the fall of 1979, despite a 90's reissue, the record is now quite rare, with a recent perusal of Amazon showing the cheapest used copy available for $173...yikes!
Below is a list of some of the many recordings still available at reasonable prices via either the usual online CD dispensaries, or for as downloads through iTunes, Amazon, eMusic and other digital music stores that Clarence Gatemouth Brown's music is featured on...
Lightning In a Bottle
Dirty Work at the Crossroads 1947-1954
One More Mile
In New Orleans
Just Got Lucky
The Blues Ain't Nothin'
Essential Blues - House of Blues Volume 1
The Blues of Clarence Gatemouth Brown
San Antonio Ballbuster
No Looking Back
yer still here?
so, fer all the real blues hounds diligently digging through the digital dirt,
here's a couple bonus tracks, the first from the late great Memphis Slim, off the classic Rockin The Blues collection...
Memphis Slim - Mother Earth
And, just because I can, here's something obscure about your planet from the irrepresible and naughty nutcase known as Kim Fowley...
From the long out of print album "The Day The Earth Stood Still"...
Released in 1970, the year of the 1st ever Earth Day, it has a tune that delves into the state of the seas as only Mr. Fowley can...
Kim Fowley - The Frail Ocean
Hope ya enjoy these hard to find recycled tunes...
and have a good weekend or whatever folks,...