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John had recently flown for the first time and did not like it at all. Pat Sky tried to reassure him, saying it was a pretty safe means of transport and adding, "Anyway, when it's your time to go, it's your time to go." John thought a while and answered, "Yeah, but what if you're on the plane and it's the pilot's time to go?" - from Phil Ratcliffe's Biography of Mississippi John Hurt

Author Topic: Two or Three William Browns?  (Read 8239 times)

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Offline dj

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Re: Two or Three William Browns?
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2007, 03:24:57 PM »
Alex is correct.  When researchers were working in the Delta in the 1960s, the people they talked to remembered two distinct "Willie" or "Will" Browns playing with Charley Patton. 

The first, who played with Patton in the teens, was tall, "chunky and heavyset", with a "big round face".  He had a good singing voice and sang a lot.  He apparently moved to Memphis and died around 1940.  He never recorded.

The second, who played with Patton in the late 1920s and early 1930s and then with Son House, was also known as "Bill" or "Little Bill".  He was small, about 5 feet four inches in height and weighed "about 135" (pounds).  This Willie Brown preferred playing guitar to singing.  He died in 1952.  This was the man who recorded "M & O Blues" and "Future Blues" and later "Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor".

Then, of course, there's the William Brown who recorded "Mississippi Blues", "Ragged and Dirty", and "East St Louis Blues" for the Library of Congress in 1942 and who is not known to be related to the other two.


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