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Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown

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Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown (April 18, 1924 — September 10, 2005) was an American blues musician. He was born in Vinton, Louisiana and raised in Orange, Texas. He is best known for his work as a blues musician, but embraced other styles of music, having “spent his career fighting purism by synthesizing old blues, country, jazz, cajun music and rhythm & blues styles” His work also encompasses rock and roll, rock music, folk, electric blues, and Texas blues.

He was an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, who played an array of musical instruments such as guitar, fiddle, mandolin, viola as well as harmonica and drums. He won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album in 1983 for his album, Alright Again! He is regarded as one of the most influential exponents of blues fiddle and has had enormous influence in American fiddle circles.
Brown’s two biggest musical influences were Louis Jordan and T-Bone Walker.

His professional musical career began in 1945, playing drums in San Antonio, Texas. He was tagged with the “Gatemouth” handle by a high school instructor who accused Brown of having a “voice like a gate”. Brown used it to his advantage throughout his career. His career was boosted while attending a 1947 concert by T-Bone Walker in Don Robey’s Bronze Peacock Houston nightclub. When Walker became ill, Brown took up his guitar and quickly wrote and played “Gatemouth Boogie,” to the delight of the audience right on the spot.

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