Sunday, August 3, 2008

Featured Pipe Smoker: Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown (1924-2005)

Louisiana born and Texas raised blues musician and multi-instrumentalist. Tutored by his own father on piano and guitar, he also became proficient with the fiddle, mandolin, viola, harmonica and drums. Nicknamed "Gatemouth" for his deep bass voice. In the 1960's he moved to Nashville where he became friends with Roy Clark and made several appearances on Hee Haw. In the late 60's he quit the music business, moved to New Mexico and became a deputy sheriff.

During the 1970's the European interest in American roots music got him back into the game, and he began touring and recording extensively, becoming an official ambassador for American music and participating in tours sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

He continued to record and tour throughout his life up until he was diagnosed with lung cancer (yes, that's right) in 2004. He was evacuated from Slidell, Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina and went to his brother's home in Orange, Texas, where he died at the age of 81.
If it were necessary to identify one individual who best represents American music in all of its idioms and styles ... one who could single-handedly play the soundtrack that has sprung forth from a nation born from hopes, sweat, fears, blood, misdeeds and glory ... a land that grew an unheralded voice as it expanded westward and cultures clashed, cultures united, cultures bore new means of expressing their emotions - things called the blues, jazz, honky-tonk and Cajun - if we needed one person who lives and breathes all things American music and can present it in all its varied glory ... Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown is that person.
--from the Gatemouth website

1 comment:

  1. Alan,
    Great blog with many interesting comments. I am a collector and enthusiast and many of your pipes bring back pleasant memories of years past when I first started smoking pipes. Some of those pieces I still have after 38 years!!! and still smoke them and enjoy them thoroughly. thanks for the interesting read.