Brownie McGhee

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Brownie McGhee

Walter "Brownie" McGhee (born November 30, 1915 in Knoxville , Tennessee , † February 16, 1996 in Oakland , California ) was a blues guitarist and singer . He grew up in a musical family where he learned to play the guitar and piano . He started out as a gospel singer in a quartet and as a street singer at the Smoky Mountain Resort.

Due to polio , his right leg was shortened, which hindered his ability to walk, which was later improved by an operation so that he could also go on concert tours, initially in Tennessee and North Carolina . After the death of Blind Boy Fuller , his manager JB Long saw in McGhee the suitable successor. They made successful recordings, one of them entitled The Death of Blind Boy Fuller , which gave him the title Blind Boy Fuller No. 2 entered. At a concert with Paul Robeson in Washington, DC in 1942 with guest soloist Sonny Terry , Long arranged for Terry to be accompanied by McGhee. The two were well received and from then on often worked together. In 1942 McGhee moved to New York, where he made contact with famous folk musicians such as Woody Guthrie , Pete Seeger and others. a. had and in 1948 founded a school "The Home of Blues" as a guitar teacher. In 1949, he hit the R&B charts with My Fault . He played at the Newport Folk Festival in 1959 and 1963 and toured with Sonny Terry, a. a. through India and Europe. Terry also included him in his 1963 production Sonny Is King .

In addition to the blues, McGhee also had success with rhythm and blues recordings (including with champion Jack Dupree , Big Maybelle and his younger brother Stick McGhee on his hit Drinkin 'Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee ). He also had two Broadway show roles such as B. in The Cat on the Hot Tin Roof (1955) with Terry and a supporting role on the screen in the thriller Angel Heart (1987).

His style of blues was from the east coast, called the Piedmont Blues .


  • Back Country Blues , 1958
  • The 1958 London Sessions / Sonny Terry & Browny McGhee , 1958
  • Traditional Blues, Vol. 2 , 1961
  • Brownie's Blues , 1962
  • Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry at the 2nd Fret , 1963 (live)
  • Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry at the Bunkhouse , 1965 (live)
  • I Couldn't Believe My Eyes , 1973
  • Facts of Life , 1985
  • Rainy Day , 1989
  • Jazz Heritage: Brownie McGhee / Sonny Terry , 1990
  • Just a Closer Walk , 1991
  • Jump Little Children , 1996
  • Blues Is Truth , 1996
  • Born for Bad Luck , 2000

Web links