Label: Indigo Recordings - IGOCD 2509 • Format: CD Compilation • Country: UK • Genre: Blues •
His brother Granville "Sticks" or "Stick" McGheewho also later became a musician and composed the famous song "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-o-Dee,"  was nicknamed for pushing young Brownie around in a cart.
Their father, George McGhee, was a factory worker, known around University Avenue for playing guitar and singing. Brownie's uncle made him a guitar from a tin marshmallow box and a piece of board.
McGhee spent much of his youth immersed in music, singing with a local harmony group, the Golden Voices Gospel Quartet, and teaching himself to play guitar. He also played the five-string banjo and ukulele and studied piano.
At age 22, McGhee became a Step It Up And Go - Brownie McGhee - Black Womans Man (The Esential Brownie McGhee) musician, working in the Rabbit Foot Minstrels and befriending Blind Boy Fullerwhose guitar playing influenced him greatly. After Fuller's death inJ.
They recorded and toured together until around Despite their later fame as "pure" folk artists playing for white audiences, in the s Terry and McGhee had attempted to be successful recording artists, fronting a jump blues combo with honking saxophone and rolling piano, variously calling themselves Brownie McGhee and Step It Up And Go - Brownie McGhee - Black Womans Man (The Esential Brownie McGhee) Jook House Rockers or Sonny Terry and his Buckshot Five, often with Champion Jack Dupree and Big Chief Ellis.
During the blues revival of the s, Terry and McGhee were popular on the concert and music festival circuits, occasionally adding new material but usually remaining faithful to their roots and playing to the tastes of their audiences. Late in his life, McGhee appeared in small roles in films and on television. InMcGhee gave a small but memorable performance as the ill-fated blues singer Toots Sweet in the supernatural thriller movie Angel Sweet Baby Blues - Flora Purim And Airto* - The Magicians. In his review of Angel Heartthe critic Roger Ebert singled out McGhee for praise, declaring that he delivered a "performance that proves [saxophonist] Dexter Gordon isn't the only old musician who can act.
He also appeared in the television series Matlockin a episode entitled "The Blues Singer", playing a friend of an old blues musician Joe Seneca who is accused of murder. Happy Trauma former guitar student of McGhee's, edited a blues guitar instruction guide and songbook, Guitar Styles of Brownie McGheepublished inin which McGhee, between lessons, talked about his life and the blues.
The autobiographical section features McGhee talking about growing up, his musical beginnings, and a history of the blues from the s Almost Seems (Too Late To Turn) - Clannad - Pastpresent. McGhee and Terry were both recipients of a National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Artswhich is the United States government's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.
McGhee died of stomach cancer in February in Oakland, Californiaat age From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American folk-blues singer and guitarist. Retrieved The Illustrated Encyclopedia Endless Journey - Violet Cold - Desperate Dreams Music. Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. Knoxville's Secret History. Scruffy City Publishing. The Devil's Music. Da Capo Press.
Chicago Sun-Times. National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved November 25, Categories : births deaths People from Knoxville, Tennessee African-American musicians Piedmont blues musicians Country blues musicians East Coast blues musicians Blues revival musicians American blues singers American male singers American blues guitarists American male guitarists American folk singers National Heritage Fellowship winners People from Kingsport, Tennessee Singers from Tennessee Jubilee Records artists Savoy Records artists Skiffle musicians Deaths from stomach cancer Deaths from cancer in California 20th-century American singers American blues pianists American male pianists People with polio 20th-century American guitarists Guitarists from Tennessee 20th-century male singers 20th-century American pianists.
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