Friday, June 03, 2005

Music is My Life, Politics My Mistress


A true Chicago legend has passed. You could easily call his early 1960s LPs the first "rap" albums. He jived, scatted, talked and sang about life on the corner until his death. Music and politics, politics and music, Oscar Brown showed the power each can have on the other.

He was a driven man, who worked touring and singing weekly with his daughter in South Side lounges into the last years of his life. I remember seeing him in front of about 40 mixed highly enthusiastic fans on 87th Street. A pure peoples entertainer, Brown digested the progressive black music of all times and was not afraid to push things further -lyrically or stylisticly.

HIs laurels can be found elsewhere. But if you know "Dat Dere," "Work Song," "Afro-Blue" "signifying Monkey" or "All Blues" you know Oscar Brown. He was what an artist shold be.


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