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John H. Armwood Jazz History Lecture Nashville's Cheekwood Arts Center 1989

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Jazz great Oscar Brown dead at 78 - Yahoo! News

Jazz great Oscar Brown dead at 78 - Yahoo! NewsYahoo!
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Oscar Brown Jr., alegendary rhythm & blues and jazz singer,
died on Sunday at age 78 following a two-month illness, his son said on Monday.
The songwriter and playwright had been hospitalized in April and again in
mid-May complaining of pain and paralysis in his legs. He had emergency surgery
on May 16 to address an abscess on his lower spine, Napoleon Brown said.
Brown was known for such compositions "The Snake," "Signifyin' Monkey" and
lyrics for Miles Davis' "All Blues."
The son of a prosperous attorney and real estate broker, he began performing on
radio as a teenager. His first album, Sin and Soul, came out in 1960. He
appeared with such jazz greats as Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane and Cannonball
Brown wrote more than a dozen plays and musicals. He was also active in the
civil rights movement in the 1960s, running unsuccessfully twice for political
office -- first for the Illinois legislature and later for the U.S. Congress.


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