Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, blues musician.
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was born in Louisiana in 1924, and, later that same year, his family moved to Texas. When Brown was a child, his father tutored him in piano and guitar and, as they were blessed with both a Victrola and a crystal radio, the young Clarence was inspired by the sounds of T-Bone Walker, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. At 16, Brown was proficient enough to join his first professional band so before joining the army, he toured Texas as a member of W.M. Bimbo & His Brownskin Models. From 1949 to 1960, Brown recorded numerous sides for Peacock Records. Although the next two decades brought ups and downs, his musicianship never suffered. During the '80s, things turned around for Brown, and he had several releases on the Rounder, MCA and Alligator labels. Though he took his share of licks at the whims of the recording industry, Gatemouth-as noted by Blues Revue-has "maintained one of the highest quality standards in recorded blues," both as a guitarist and a vocalist. Proof in point, this Grammy winner and six-time Grammy nominee is unrivaled in his ability to seamlessly combine blues, country, soul and jazzy R&B.