There Goes the Blues: Tributes Pour In For Texas Johnny Brown
Even for an 85-year-old bluesman who wrote his best-known song during the JFK administration, Monday night social media was full of love for Texas Johnny Brown, the soft-spoken, sharp-dressed guitarist who passed away earlier in the day after a relatively brief battle with liver cancer.
"It is with great sadness and heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of an American treasure and true blues legend," said "Blues Hound" James Nagel, host of KPFT's Sunday-afternoon show "Howlin' the Blues," on the Houston Blues society's open Facebook group. "His accolades are many, but his true legacy lay behind his beautiful smile, warm heart and undying love for his family, fans and the music that brought all of us so much joy."
On Twitter (above), Houston restaurateur Bryan Caswell remembered Brown, who wrote smoky Gulf Coast R&B standards "There Goes the Blues" and "Two Steps From the Blues," as "one of the guys who hooked me on live music."
Brown's funeral is expected to be in his hometown of Ackerman, Mississippi, where he was honored wtih a marker on the MIssissippi Blues Trail in 2011, but plans for a Houston memorial are expected to be announced soon. We'll keep you posted. Expect something at The Big Easy, where Brown played one Saturday night a month until this past May.
Monday night (a most blue Monday, sadly), fans poured onto a few blues-minded Houston social sites to honor the man who was never more than two steps from the blues. A sampling of their comments:
From the Houston Blues Society's Facebook group:
Jim Beal Jr. is the longtime music critic for the San Antonio Express-News.
Jacquelyn Striegel: "'Two Steps From the Blues' was my favorite of the songs he wrote & I agree it is one of the best blues songs of all time. RIP 'Texas Johnny Brown.' One of a kind."
Bill Freeman: "We've lost another legend. RIP TJB."
Patti Birdsall: "RIP Johnny. So glad we got to see you not too long ago. You will be missed."
Steve Myers: "Godspeed Texas Johnny Brown. You will be missed like no other. Houston will love you forever."
Chigoke Adoma: "Heaven has got another Blues Angel... I suspect the entire Blues Community in Heaven was waiting to greet him. Rest in peace my Prince. xoxoxo"
From the Shakespeare Pub's Facebook page:
Here's our former Web Editor, Brittanie Shey.
Colin Thomas: "Such a shame. My favourite performer and I will miss his big 'Yeah' at the end of his songs. A true legend."
Angela Tolmie: "So sad to hear about Texas Johnny, my favourite performer also Colin."
Mary Nettles: "So so sad. He will be missed by many."