Long Time Coming

Nappy Brown

What a pleasant surprise! Vocalist Nappy Brown has come up with another winner just over half a century (!) after having hit the R&B charts in 1955 with “Don’t Be Angry.” Two years later his “Right Time” turned out to be a major hit for Ray Charles and the Raelets. Looking back, Brown (now 78) says, “He had all of my notes in there. He had everything. Everything. But one thing, he had the women.” Brown continued to record for the Savoy label then disappeared for a couple of decades. In 1984 he turned in a terrific effort—Tore Up (on the tiny Landslide label, later reissued by Alligator)—backed by Tinsley Ellis and the Heartfixers. Like many singers, Brown (who hails from North Carolina) began in the church and he brings that passion to his music, especially on the title track. To hear him reprise his very first record, “Don’t Be Angry,” is like turning back the clock—his powerful voice hasn’t lost a thing. Backed by a horn section that knows how to riff (e.g. “Bye, Bye, Baby”) and Sean Costello’s tasty guitar (check out “Right Time”), Brown really delivers! Solid goods from start to finish.