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Gabriel Brown (1910 – 1972) was an American Piedmont blues singer and guitarist.
Brown was born in Florida, and graduated from the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College. In 1934, Brown performed at the first National Folk Festival in St. Louis, Missouri. He was musically discovered by folklorist Zora Neale Hurston. She enlisted Alan Lomax who, in June 1935, recorded Brown for the Library of Congress.
Similar to Ralph Willis, Alec Seward and Brownie McGhee, Brown then relocated from the Southern United States to New York City. Hurston gave Brown a part in her light opera, Polk County. In 1935 Brown started a four year tenure with the Federal Arts Theatre, initially under Orson Welles' direction. By the late 1930s, Brown appeared as a singer on Cincinnati radio, and took part in the show, St. Louis Woman. He found employment with the civil service, working for the Army Signal Corps in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Brown had Joe Davis as his record producer on his first full recording session in 1943, and the twosome worked together until Brown's final sessions in 1952.
However, in 1945 Brown sang, "I can't have no luck at all, the jinx is on me."
Several of Brown's recordings were not released during his lifetime, and some of those that were issued were not always promoted tastefully, or accurately. In the late 1940s, various tracks were licensed to Coral Records. Eventually Davis worked in A&R for MGM Records, and Brown followed him to that label, where he was promoted as a pop singer. Later compilation albums were released on record labels such as Flyright.
Brown's death from drowning in Florida in 1972, occurred following a boating accident.