Browning To Perfection

:: Running Bear ::

:: Games That Grown Up Children Play ::

:: Poppa Says (Dawn Holds Another Day) ::

:: As Usual ::

Wow. No doubt about it, this kid was great. Still there's something a bit weird about a 12 or 13 year old boy singing love songs of such mature subject matter. Kind of makes you wonder who was selecting his material and why, but in any case, the kid had pipes.

Browning Bryant was born in 1957 and he still lives in his home town of Pickens, South Carolina. He had a hit with "Games That Grown Up Children Play", followed by "Poppa Says (Dawn Holds Another Day)". He went on to charm adults on such TV shows as The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and the Merv Griffin Show. He changed record labels several times, starting out on Dot in 1969, then moving on to RCA, then to Reprise where he made one album in 1974 which was produced by Allen Toussaint and featured The Meters. By then Browning was a ripe 17 years old, and he wrote a few of the songs that appeared on the album. Not bad. Robert Christgau even gave it a good review.

It's said that he's still composing and recording in Pickens, and I see he has some more recent CDs available. It's funny because normally I wouldn't be into something like this at all, but I find myself drawn to it for some reason. I simply must find a copy of that Reprise album now. Oh, and thanks to my buddy Trags for sending this one to me.

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Saturday, September 23, 2006 3:38:00 PM're missing the best track on the LP! "Patches" is one of the most morbidy unpleaant songs EVER, and Browning's completely histrionic over-sung delivery elevates this one into a stratosphere of strangeness all its own. (And yeah, the Reprise album quite different from this but is definitely worth a listen.)    

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 7:28:00 AM

the hornline in the beginning of As Usual sounds like something sampled by Saint Etienne. it's in the first 10 seconds of the song. i would love to figure out which song though.    

Friday, October 20, 2006 1:56:00 PM

Vera Lynn, Rosemary Clooney... hmm, he sounds like a vocalist from days gone by, but I can't quite place which woman he sounds like.

Did he turn out straight? Just curious, 'cause remember Johnny Carson was convinced that Wayne Newton would not. 'Specially after hearing "Danke Schoen."    

Tuesday, February 13, 2007 6:26:00 PM

Actually Browning was 15 and 16 when he recorded with Allen Toussaint, and his was the first recording ever done at Sea-Saint Studio. "Browning Bryant" is one of the most durably likable funk records of the 1970s.    

Saturday, December 01, 2007 10:13:00 PM

Hey, folks -- just wanted you to know that there's a post on the excellent "Rock Town Hall" blog that features four songs from Browning's eponymous, Toussaint-produced LP from 1974. Good stuff! Check it out at    

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