cover of book

Milton Brown and the Founding of Western Swing
by Cary Ginell
University of Illinois Press, 1994
Cloth: 978-0-252-02041-4
Library of Congress Classification ML3541.G56 1994
Dewey Decimal Classification 781.642

A few weeks before his death in an auto accident, Milton Brown and his band the Musical Brownies recorded forty-nine songs in a single three-day session. That prolific output was a testament to Brown's enormous popularity not only on record but as head of the premier touring act in the Southwest. Cary Ginell draws on interviews and his own musical knowledge to chart Brown's too-short career. Ginell sees Brown as the first key figure to merge blues, jazz, and country into the genre that artists like Bob Wills and Spade Cooley later popularized as Western Swing. Following Brown from his early years to his rise via the Fort Worth dance hall scene, Ginell traces the evolution of the singer-bandleader's musical innovations like adding vocals to dance music and his band's adoption of a style heavy with rhythm and blues. In 1936, Brown and his band stood at the brink of national stardom when Brown's car hit a telephone pole. He died five days later.

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