Texas Johnny Brown
Texas Johnny Brown traveled from his home in Houston, Texas, to attend the unveiling of a marker in his honor on the Mississippi Blues Trail in September 2011. The title of the marker, “Two Steps from the Blues” refers both to Choctaw County’s location–a bit off the path from the well-known blues highways and byways of Mississippi–as well as the title of a classic blues song written by Brown.
The son of another Ackerman bluesman, Cranston Exerville “Clarence” Brown, Johnny was born in 1928 and moved to Texas in the 1940s where he played guitar in Amos Milburn’s band. In 1949 the band accompanied Ruth Brown on a session for Atlantic Records in New York where Brown also made his own debut recording under the name Texas Johnny Brown. In Houston he did session work and songwriting for Duke Records in addition to touring with Bobby “Blue” Bland and Junior Parker. Brown recorded a few singles during the 1950s and ’60s and released his first album, “Nothin’ But the Truth,” in 1997 on a label he named Choctaw Creek in honor of his native county. Heralded for his smooth, sophisticated style, Brown began traveling the U. S. and overseas blues festival circuit in the 1990s. Brown died at his home in Houston, Texas, on July 1, 2013.
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