Atlanta R&B singer Tommy Brown, a hard-working, much loved entertainer who scored a number one R&B hit in 1951 with “Weepin’ and Cryin’” (credited to the Griffin Brothers), died on March 12th at age 84.
Brown was born May 27th, 1931 in Atlanta, the son of a preacher. Beginning with his lesser known hit “Atlanta Boogie,” and throughout his heyday in the 1950s, Brown recorded for an array of long-gone R&B record labels, including Dot, Savoy, Regent, United, Groove and Imperial. After a stint in the Marines, Brown relocated to Chicago and continued performing, as well as playing drums in bands for Bill Doggett and Ike Turner. In the mid-1960s, Brown briefly transitioned into stand-up comedy.
Brown was back living in Atlanta by the late ‘70s, and more recently was a regular performer at Blind Willie’s, Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint and Northside Tavern, where he would often sing with local blues acts The Breeze Kings and The Shadows. But his heart issues forced him to retire from performing in the summer of 2014. In 2015, Brown was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis, Tennessee.