Brown Culp (October 12, 1929 – September 20, 2008) better known by his
stage name Nappy Brown, was an American R & B singer. His hits include
the 1955 Billboard Chart No 2, Don't Be Angry and Night Time Is the
Right Time. His style is instantly recognizable; Brown used a wide
vibrato, melisma, and distinctive extra syllables, in particular, "li-li-li-li-li."
Biography Nappy Brown was the son of Kathryn Culp and Sammie Lee Brown.
After his mother died he was brought up by Fred and Maggie Culp. They
attended Gethsemane AME Zion Church and he attended school in Charlotte,
Early career Nappy Brown was among the biggest stars in R&B, frequently
touring with the legendary revues of Alan Freed. His songs, along with
those of his peers and contemporaries (such as
Berry, and Fats Domino), were among the first wave of African-American
pop music to become noticed and popular with white audiences.
In addition to Brown's influence on blues music, and 1950s R&B and
pop, Brown's powerful and protean voice, combined with his distinctive
emotive style, is widely viewed as a key link in the development of Soul
1980s comeback In the early 1980s, a renewed interest in R&B led to some of
Brown's early songs being released on European albums. At the urging of
Bob Margolin, former guitarist for Muddy Waters's band and a huge fan of
Brown, Brown returned to the music business, beginning with a successful
tour of Scandinavia in 1983. In 1984, 14 years since his last recording,
Brown signed with Landslide Records and released the album Tore Up with
The Heartfixers. Other recordings followed.
Brown's Savoy Records hit, Piddly Patter was featured in the John
Waters film, Cry-Baby, starring Johnny Depp.
life Nappy Brown's final album, Long Time Coming -- recorded in May
2007 -- on Blind Pig Records, was released on September 25th, 2007.
Reviews were overwhelmingly positive (4-1/2 stars from Allmusic);
the album and Brown were each nominated for a Blues Music Award (the
genre's highest honor). The album, produced by Scott Cable, features the
guitarists Sean Costello, Bob Margolin, Junior Watson, and other special
guests performing Brown's hits and several new songs. In the fall of
2007, Nappy Brown was Living Blues Magazine's September cover artist,
and followed that honor with a European tour. Nappy Brown was a musical
guest on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion, October 20th, 2007.
At the ceremony for the Blues Music Awards in May 2008, Brown gave
one last electrifying performance, capping an incredible comeback year.
On June 1, 2008 following a performance at the Crawfish Festival in
Augusta, New Jersey, Brown fell ill due to series of ailments and was
hospitalized. He died in his sleep on September 20, 2008 at Mercy
Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina