Tough times for Glen Brown
BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
GLEN Brown, a respected under-ground music producer of the 1970s, has fallen on hard times in the United States.
In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, his daughter Rosemarie Macklin says the 69-year-old Brown is in a New York nursing home.
He is suffering from renal failure, diabetes, loss of vision, dementia, and a heart condition.
"He has no pension, no savings and no residual income although his music is all over the Internet. His Rhythm Master album is still actively being sold worldwide and yet this man is penniless," Macklin said.
According to Macklin, her father's woes are compounded by the fact that he rarely paid taxes while living in the US.
"That eliminated him from social security and therefore his health care has been limited due to lack of funds."
Born in Central Kingston, Brown started as a singer in the 1960s in a group with fellow vocalist Lloyd Robinson. They recorded songs for producers Duke Reid and Derrick Harriott.
He later joined the Sonny Bradshaw Seven band before launching a solo and production career in the early 1970s.
He produced songs such as Mr Harry Skank by deejay Prince Jazzbo and Never Too Young to Learn which was done by singer Roman Stewart.
Hopeton Lewis, Sugar Minot, Beres Hammond, The Skatalites, King Tubby, Gregory Isaacs, U Roy and Big Youth all recorded songs for Brown.
His best known production may be Wicked Can't Run Away, a haunting song recorded in late 1977 by singer Glenroy Richards, who hailed from Southside in Central Kingston.
A dancehall classic, its beat has been sampled by countless acts including Steel Pulse. Richards was controversially killed at the Green Bay shooting range in February, 1978.
Macklin says getting Brown's extensive catalogue in order has been like "finding a needle in a haystack".