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Charles D. Grear

musician, performer, songwriter, and southern musical legend. Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown—“Gatemouth” because of his deep voice—emerged as a musical legend in the South for more than fifty years. Brown was heavily influenced by the music of Texas and Louisiana, and his range of styles included the blues, rhythm and blues (R&B), country, swing, jazz, and Cajun. A virtuoso on guitar, violin, mandolin, viola, harmonica, and drums, Brown influenced and was influenced by performers as diverse as Albert Collins, Eric Clapton, Frank Zappa, Lonnie Brooks, Guitar Slim, and Joe Louis Walker. Throughout his career he recorded more than thirty albums. Those who have been featured on his albums include Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Amos Garrett, Jim Keltner, Maria Muldaur, and Leon Russell.

Born on 18 April 1924 in Vinton Louisiana Brown was raised in Orange Texas ...


blues singer, songwriter, guitarist, and fiddle player, was born in Vinton, Louisiana, and moved across the Sabine River with his family to Orange, Texas, when he was a few weeks old. He began playing the fiddle when he was five, learning the instrument from his father, Clarence Brown Sr.—a railroad worker who played and sang everything from traditional French songs to German polkas—and taught himself to play the guitar when he was ten. Brown's mother, Jenny, played the piano.

As a boy Brown would hang outside the local jazz clubs, and once when he was listening to Duke Ellington practice the musician invited him to sit with him on the piano bench Brown claimed he acquired his nickname when a high school teacher said he had a voice like a gate though he long promised to reveal the true account of how he became ...


Tony Thomas

perhaps the last traditional African American fiddler, was born Joseph Aquilla Thompson in the High Rock community equidistant from Mebane, Efland, and Cedar Grove, in northern Orange County, North Carolina. He was the son of Rosa Crisp Thompson (1882–1960) and John Arch Thompson (1878–1968), a farmer and fiddler who later worked as an elementary school janitor. John Arch Thompson's father, Robert Thompson (1849–?), had moved his family from Person County, North Carolina, to Cedar Grove by 1900. By the time of Joe's birth, John Arch Thompson on fiddle and his brothers Jacob (1876–1950) and Walter (1882–1949) on banjos played for white and black dancers six nights a week. At age five Joe Thompson obtained a small fiddle and mastered the tune Hook and Line so well that his father who had forbidden Joe to touch his violin ...