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Richard 'Rabbit' Brown

A New Orleans songster who lived in the city's roughest section and composed songs about several of its most notorious murders, Richard Rabbit Brown was born in 1880, probably in rural Louisiana. It's not known when he turned up in New Orleans, but after arriving he migrated to the portion of Jane's Alley (later home to Louis Armstrong) known as the Battlefield (even the police force often refused to enter to stop disputes). Two of his most popular songs were "The Downfall of the Lion" (concerning the shotgun murder of the police chief on Basin Street) and "Gyp the Blood" (about a New York gangster who sparked a near-riot, and the closing of Storyville as it was known, by killing a bar owner). Brown sang on streetcorners and nightclubs, and earned extra money as a singing boatman. He recorded six sides for Victor in 1927, including the story songs "Mystery of the Dunbar's Child" and "Sinking of the Titanic." Little else is known about the rest of his life, though it is known that he died in 1937. Five of his recordings were included on the Document collection The Greatest Songsters: Complete Works (1927-1929), along with tracks by Mississippi John Hurt and Hambone Willie Newbern. ~ John Bush
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Anthology Of American Folk Music

Disc 1

1. Henry Lee

2. Fatal Flower Garden

3. The House Carpenter

4. Drunkard's Special

5. Old Lady And The Devil

6. The Butcher's Boy

7. The Wagoner's Lad

8. King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O

9. Old Shoes And Leggins

10. Willie Moore

11. A Lazy Farmer Boy

12. Peg And Awl

13. Ommie Wise

14. My Name Is John Johanna

Disc 2

1. Bandit Cole Younger

2. Charles Giteau

3. John Hardy Was A Desperate Little Man

4. Gonna Die With My Hammer In My Hand

5. Stackalee

6. White House Blues

7. Frankie

8. When That Great Ship Went Down

9. Engine 143

10. Kassie Jones

11. Down On Penny's Farm

12. Mississippi Boweavil Blues

13. Got The Farm Land Blues

Disc 3

1. Sail Away Lady

2. The Wild Wagoner

3. Wake Up Jacob

4. La Danseuse

5. Georgia Stomp

6. Brilliancy Medley

7. Indian War Whoop

8. Old Country Stomp

9. Old Dog Blue

10. Saut Crapaud

11. Acadian One-Step

12. Home Sweet Home

13. Newport Blues

Disc 4

3. Rocky Road

4. Present Joys

5. This Song Of Love

7. He Got Better Things For You

9. John The Baptist

10. Dry Bones

11. John The Revelator

12. Little Moses

13. Shine On Me

14. Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room

Disc 5

1. The Coo Coo Bird

2. East Virginia

3. Minglewood Blues

5. James Alley Blues

7. I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground

8. Mountaineer's Courtship

9. The Spanish Merchant's Daughter

10. Bob Lee Junior Blues

11. Single Girl, Married Girl

12. La Vieux Soulard Et Sa Femme

13. Rabbit Foot Blues

14. Expressman Blues

Disc 6

1. Poor Boy Blues

2. Feather Bed

3. Country Blues

5. Prison Cell Blues

6. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean

8. Way Down The Old Plank Road

9. Buddy Won't You Roll Down The Line

10. Spike Driver Blues

11. K.C. Moan

12. Train On The Island

13. The Lone Star Trail

14. Fishing Blues

x

Track List: People Take Warning 3: Man Vs. Man

Disc 1

3. Bill Wilson

4. The Crash Of The Akron

5. The Fate Of Talmadge Osborne

8. Fate Of Will Rogers & Wiley Post

9. Down With The Old Canoe

10. Wreck Of Number 52

11. Kassie Jones Part 1

12. Kassie Jones Part 2

13. The Brave Engineer

14. The Sinking Of The Titanic

15. Fate Of Chris Lively And Wife

16. Wreck On The Mountain Road

17. The Unfortunate Brakeman

19. The Fatal Wreck Of The Bus

20. Last Scene Of The Titanic

21. Casey Jones

23. The Titanic

24. When That Great Ship Went Down

Disc 2

1. The Story Of The Mighty Mississippi

3. Dixie Boll Weevil

5. Ohio Prison Fire

6. Memphis Flu

7. Explosion In The Fairmount Mine

8. Storm That Struck Miami

9. When The Levee Breaks

10. Alabama Flood

13. High Water Everywhere, Part 2

14. Ryecove Cyclone

15. McBeth Mine Explosion

16. Dry Well Blues

17. Baltimore Fire

18. Tennessee Tornado

19. Dry Spell Blues, Part 2

20. The Santa Barbara Earthquake

21. The Death Of Floyd Collins

22. The Porto Rico Storm

Disc 3

2. The Little Grave In Georgia

3. Kenney Wagner's Surrender

4. Henry Clay Beattie

5. The Murder Of The Lawson Family

7. Railroad Bill

8. Frankie

12. Darling Cora

13. Billy Lyons And Stack O' Lee

14. Tom Dooley

17. Fingerprints Upon The Windowpane

18. The Bluefield Murder

20. Fate Of Rhoda Sweeten

21. Dupree Blues

22. Poor Ellen Smith

x

Track List: Richer Tradition Country Blues & String Band Music

Disc 1

1. Guitar Blues

3. Sundown Blues

4. Salt Lake City Blues

5. Whiskey And Gin Blues

6. James Alley Blues

7. Goin' To Leave You Blues

10. Bamalong Blues

11. Man Trouble Blues

13. Frisco Whistle Blues

14. Two Ways To Texas

15. Gravel Camp Blues

16. T And T Blues

17. Death Bell Blues

18. C.C. & O. Blues

20. Rolling Log Blues

21. Kyle's Worried Blues

22. Bull Frog Blues

23. Sobbin' Woman Blues

24. Miss Meal Cramp Blues

25. The Unknown Blues

Disc 2

1. Jail House Blues

2. Blues, Just Blues, That's All

5. Dirty Guitar Blues

6. Boodle-Am-Shake

7. Quill Blues

8. The Jug Band Special

9. Cold Morning Shout

10. Violin Blues

11. Easy Winner

13. I Got A Gal

16. Adam And Eve

17. Runnin' Wild

18. Giving It Away

19. Jackson Stomp

21. Travelin' Railroad Man Blues

23. Ted's Stomp

24. Dusting The Frets

Disc 3

3. Mean Conductor Blues

7. I Heard The Voice Of A Pork Chop

8. Rising River Blues

9. She Could Toodle-Oo

11. Old Rock Island Blues

12. Cairo Blues

13. I Ain't Givin' Nobody None

14. Showers Of Rain Blues

15. Framer's Blues

16. If I Call You Mama

17. Never Drive A Stranger From Your Door

18. Mississippi Swamp Moan

19. Paddlin' Madeline Blues

21. South Carolina Rag

24. Window Pane Blues

25. Hot Jelly Roll Blues

Disc 4

1. Labor Blues

2. Goin' Away Blues

3. No Baby

5. Dreaming Blues

6. Weeping Willow Blues

7. Way Down In Arkansas

9. Indian Squaw Blues

10. Florida Bound

11. God Didn't Make No Monkey Man

12. Tallahatchie River Blues

14. Bedside Blues

15. Lonesome Midnight Dream

16. Billy Goat Blues

17. That Won't Do

18. Ghost Woman Blues

20. Rollin' Dough Blues

21. Starvation Farm Blues

23. Teasin' Brown Blues

25. Dago Blues

x

Track List: Rough Guide To The Blues Songsters

1. Pick Poor Robin Clean

2. Don't Leave Me Here

3. What A Time (Take 1)

4. The Spasm

5. Your Baby Ain't Sweet Like Mine

6. Frankie

7. Every Day In The Week Blues

8. How Long

9. John Henry (The Steel Driving Man), Pt. 1

10. Old Rock Island Blues

11. Cocaine

12. Mississippi Boweavil Blues

13. Stackalee

14. Nobody Knows (What The Good Deacon Does)

15. A Chicken Can Waltz The Gravy Around

16. How You Want Your Rollin' Done

17. Midnight Special

18. Hey! Lawdy Mama - The France Blues

19. Railroad Bill

20. Come On Boys Let's Do That Messin' Around

21. James Alley Blues

22. Going To Germany

23. Coal Man Blues

24. Nobody's Business If I Do

x

Track List: The History Of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues Vol. 1 1921-1949

Disc 1

1. When The Saints Go Marching In

2. Maple Leaf Rag

3. Tiger Rag

4. A Handful Of Riffs

5. Perdido Street Blues

8. Sweet Mumtaz

10. Root Hog Or Die

13. Dear Old Southland

14. Sous Les Palmiers

16. King Porter Stomp

17. Besame Mucho

21. Eh La Bas

Disc 2

1. St James Infirmary

3. James Alley Blues

4. Crazy Cryin' Blues

5. New Orleans Joys

6. Old New Orleans Blues

8. Black Snake Blues

10. Funny Feathers

11. Louisiana Bound

12. Bread And Water Blues

13. Allons A Lafayette

16. Cabbage Greens No. 1

19. New Low Down Dog

20. I'm Cuttin' Out

21. Sidney's Blues

22. Just As Soon As I Go Home

23. Hackberry Hop

25. Junker Blues

26. Box Car Shorty And Peter Blue

Comments

Report as inappropriate
This guy has an amazing voice

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