Cowboy Roy Brown - Street Singer, part 2
  • 14 Irene
  • 15 Empty Cot In The Bunkhouse Tonight / Have I Stayed Away Too Long?
  • 16 Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home
  • 17 Birmingham Jail
  • 18 She's Too Fat / Roll Out The Barrel / Beer Barrel Polka
  • 19 Trouble In Mind
  • 20 You Are My Sunshine
  • 21 Come Sit By My Side
  • 22 Wyoming / Margie / My Wild Irish Rose
  • 23 Talk
  • 14 Irene
    Genre: Folk
    MP3 (02:11) [4.99 MB]
  • 15 Empty Cot In The Bunkhouse Tonight / Have I Stayed Away Too Long?
    Genre: Country
    MP3 (02:55) [6.66 MB]
  • 16 Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home
    Genre: Folk
    MP3 (01:38) [3.73 MB]
  • 17 Birmingham Jail
    Genre: Folk
    MP3 (02:28) [5.65 MB]
  • 18 She's Too Fat / Roll Out The Barrel / Beer Barrel Polka
    Genre: Folk
    MP3 (02:58) [6.78 MB]
  • 19 Trouble In Mind
    Genre: Blues
    MP3 (01:29) [3.41 MB]
  • 20 You Are My Sunshine
    Genre: Country
    MP3 (02:27) [5.6 MB]
  • 21 Come Sit By My Side
    Genre: Folk
    MP3 (01:44) [3.99 MB]
  • 22 Wyoming / Margie / My Wild Irish Rose
    Genre: Folk
    MP3 (04:07) [9.41 MB]
  • 23 Talk
    Genre: Folk
    MP3 (06:02) [13.8 MB]
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Biography
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Cowboy Roy Brown – Street Singer
Delmark DE 790

Cowboy Roy Brown was born in Arkansas on April 20, 1875, the son of a preacher. He and his sister learned to play guitar from their father who they accompanied when he played violin in church. Butler County, incorporated in 1870, is a 36 by 26 mile plot on a bluff of the Black River in the Missouri Bootheel just across the border from Arkansas. One community in the county, Morocco, was formed of predominately African Americans. In his twenties, Roy visited St Louis during the 1904 World’s Fair and later moved to Kansas City, then Marion, Illinois and then drifted to Milwaukee and to Deadwood, South Dakota. Roy eventually returned to St Louis where he was a street singer performing with his guitar and catalog of blues, folk and cowboy tunes. Roy and his band – a guitar named “Baby” and a kazoo named “Leon” – performed cowboy standards & popular tunes. These songs were recorded in the late 50's.

Roy Brown (vocals. & guitar), “Baby” (guitar) and "Leon" kazoo.


1. Green Corn 1:35
2. Down By The Riverside 3:28
3. Intro 0:48
4. A Good Man Is Hard To Find 1:54
5. End of This World 2:15
6. Under The Double Eagle 1:51
7. Over The Waves 2:11
8. Isle Of Capri 2:28
9. When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder 1:25
10. St. Louis Blues 2:51
11. He's In The Jailhouse Now 2:50
12. Intro 0:41
13. Corrine Corrina / Careless Love 5:42
14. Irene 2:08
15. Empty Cot In The Bunkhouse Tonight / Have I Stayed Away Too Long 2:51
16. Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home 1:34
17. Down In The Valley / Birmingham Jail 2:25
18. She's Too Fat / Roll Out The Barrel / Beer Barrel Polka 2:55
19. Trouble In Mind 1:26
20. You Are My Sunshine 2:23
21. Come Sit By My Side 1:41
22. Wyoming / Margie / My Wild Irish Rose 4:08
23. Talk 6:01

Cowboy Roy Brown, vocals, guitar, kazoo

Delmark Records, 4121 N. Rockwell,
Chicago, IL 60618
www.delmark.com
CP 2007 Delmark Records

1. Green Corn 1:35 (Traditional, P.D.)
2. Down By The Riverside 3:28 (Paul Barnes, P.D.)
3. Intro 0:48
4. A Good Man Is Hard To Find 1:54 (Eddie Green, Edwin H. Morris & Co. Inc., ASCAP)
5. End of This World 2:15 (Traditional, P.D.)
6. Under The Double Eagle 1:51 (Traditional, P.D.)
7. Over The Waves 2:11 (Juventino Rosas, P.D.)
8. Isle Of Capri 2:28 Grosz/Kennedy, Universal Polygram Int'l/Wilhelm Grosz Music Co., ASCAP)
9. When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder 1:25 (Traditional, P.D.)
10. St. Louis Blues 2:51 (W.C. Handy, Handy Bros. Music Co. Inc., ASCAP)
11. He's In The Jailhouse Now 2:50 (Traditional, P.D.)
12. Intro 0:41
13. Corrine Corrina / Careless Love 5:42 (Williams/Chatman/Parish, EMI Mills Music Inc, ASCAP / Handy/Koenig/Williams, Handy Bros. Music Co. Inc., ASCAP)
14. Irene 2:08 (Traditional, P.D.)
15. Empty Cot In The Bunkhouse Tonight / Have I Stayed Away Too Long 2:51 (Gene Autry, Gene Autry Western Music, ASCAP / Frank Loesser, Frank Music Corp., ASCAP)
16. Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home 1:34 (Traditional, P.D.)
17. Down In The Valley / Birmingham Jail 2:25 (Traditional, P.D.)
18. She's Too Fat / Roll Out The Barrel / Beer Barrel Polka 2:55 (MacLean/Richardson, Shapiro Bernstein & Co. Inc., ASCAP / Brown/Timm/Vejvoda/Zeman, Shapiro Bernstein & Co. Inc., ASCAP)
19. Trouble In Mind 1:26 (Richard M. Jones, P.D.)
20. You Are My Sunshine 2:23 (Davis/Mitchell, APRS, BMI)
21. Come Sit By My Side 1:41 (Traditional, P.D.)
22. Wyoming / Margie / My Wild Irish Rose 4:07 (P.D.)
23. Talk 6:01



Cowboy Roy Brown was born in Arkansas on April 20, 1875, the son of a preacher. He and his sister learned to play guitar from their father who they accompanied when he played violin in his church services. Later in his teens, Roy picked up the five-string banjo. His father moved to Butler county Missouri taking Roy with him in 1882 when Roy was 7 years old.

Butler County, incorporated in 1870, is a 36 by 26 mile plot on a bluff of the Black River in the Missouri Bootheel just across the border from Arkansas. The eastern edge of the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, there is only one city in the county that is worthy of being called a city and they called it Poplar Bluff. It's the county seat and the surrounding hamlets and towns are little more than general stores and post offices. Two race records speak of that city in the pre-war era, Rosa Henderson recorded "Poplar Bluff Blues" in 1925, and Willie Dukes recorded "Sweet Poplar Bluff Blues" in 1930. Blacks lived in an area of
town called "The Holler", but one community in the county, named Morocco, was formed of predominately African Americans. Since Roy said that he was from Butler County and not specifically Poplar Bluff, it is possible that his home was in Morocco.

In his twenties, Roy visited St Louis during the 1904 World's Fair and
later moved to Kansas City. Spending about ten years there he spent the next decade in Marion, Illinois and then drifted to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Deadwood, South Dakota. Roy eventually returned to St Louis where he was a street singer performing with his guitar and catalog of folk and cowboy tunes.

"Music was born in me," he said. "It comes natural." Roy and his band -
a guitar named "Baby"‚ and a kazoo named "Leon"‚ - performed cowboy standards and popular tunes. Popular if you lived in the days of the cowboys. The first tune that he learned from his father when he was 8 years old was one he called "Green Corn Grow In The Garden". "That's an old tune. From before you were born, from before your father was born." Roy knew old. His father lived to 104 years old. His guitar was old. "Over a hundred years old", he said. Bought used in St Louis, it was a mid-1800's model. "I got it on Franklin Avenue."

St Louis was more than a river and rail and highway crossroads town. By
1900 the city ranked as the fourth largest city in the United States. And musically, St Louis was more than a rest stop for passing musicians. Ragtime music was headquartered in the city and great piano players were in abundance there well before any great migration from the south. Guitarists were picking the blues instead of cotton as well, and the recordings of the 1930's testify to the fact that the piano and guitar had a common-law marriage in St Louis. On the Mississippi levee at the foot of the city and up a westbound artery into an area known as "Deep Morgan", scores of musicians entertained. W.C. Handy said that he heard the blues there before the turn of the century and a few of the city's talents like Teddy "Blind Blues" Darby, J.D. Short and Clifford Gibson were recorded in the early days of the blues. Many more went unknown.

In St Louis in the 1950s, Roy was in his seventies. He had been around the United States and picked up the songs he liked as he went. He liked the song "Swanee River". "That's one of the sweetest songs in the world", he said of the tune, and of the author, Stephen Foster; "He was a yankee, but he wrote fine tunes". His favorite tune was "Birmingham Jail", also known as "Down In The Valley". This was after Jimmy Tarlton begged his beloved to write him a letter and send it in care of the Birmingham jail in the 1920's, but before the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his letter from the Birmingham jail in April 1963.

He remembered Eisenhower's campaign song, "Susanna" and an old gospel tune called "Farther Along". In his travels, Roy saw things that impressed him and he never forgot an intricately hand-carved bar in a tavern in Deadwood, "one of the prettiest I've laid eyes on", or a girl that he once loved. "I had a girl but we busted up" he said, his voice going a bit softer. He wrote a blues song about the affair and called it "Roy Brown Blues". He said that he didn't like to play it because it gets him to thinking about things from a long time ago. After a pause of reflection he looked up and said, "Bein's that you're my best friend, I'll play it for you". He sang; "I look ten thousand miles away, because the girl I love turned her back on me..."

-Kevin Belford, December 2006

Album Production: Robert G. Koester and Steve Wagner
Supervision: Robert and Vivian Oswald
Recorded by Robert C. Oswald, Creve Coeur, MO
Digital remastering and restorationby Christopher Kuni
Art by Kevin Belford
Design by ForDzine, Dave Forte

Other Delmark albums of interest:
Barrelhouse Buck McFarland, Alton Blues (788)
Big Joe Williams, Piney Woods Blues (602) with J.D. Short
Blues On Highway 49 (604) with Ransom Knowling
Stavin’ Chain Blues (609) with J.D. Short
Nine String Guitar Blues (627) with Ransom Knowling
I Got Wild (767)
Yank Rachell, Mandolin Blues (606) with Big Joe Williams, Sleepy John Estes
Blues From Up The Country (907) with Big Joe Williams, Robert Nighthawk,
Champion Jack Dupree, Blind Willie McTell
Sleepy John Estes, The Legend of...(603) with Nixon, Knocky Parker
Broke And Hungry (608) with Rachell, Nixon, Mike Bloomfield
In Europe (611) with Nixon
Brownsville Blues (613)
Electric Sleep (619) with Carey Bell, Jimmy Dawkins, Earl Hooker
Sunnyland Slim
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Look On Yonder's Wall (614)
Meets The Master Blues Bassists (621) with Willie Dixon

Send for free catalog of jazz & blues:
Delmark Records, 1 800 684 3480, 4121 N. Rockwell,
Chicago, IL 60618
www.delmark.com
CP 2007 Delmark Records

9
  • Members:
    Cowboy Roy Brown
  • Sounds Like:
    country, folk, acoustic blues
  • Influences:
    Leadbelly, folk, blues, country
  • AirPlay Direct Member Since:
    03/31/22
  • Profile Last Updated:
    07/19/22 14:46:21

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