From our friends at Landslide Records: We are sad to learn of the passing of the great soul shouter Nappy Brown after a long illness. Born Napoleon Brown Culp in 1929, Nappy rose through a gospel quartet career start to become one of the classic R&B singers of the 1950s. He had hits for Savoy Records, like “Don’t Be Angry” and “Little By Little,” which defined his distinctive singing style and were subsequently covered by white artists. Nappy wrote and recorded the original version of “The Right Time,” which Ray Charles later copied almost verbatim, and he appeared throughout the decade on numerous rock and roll concerts promoted by DJ Alan Freed. Landslide was fortunate to record Nappy’s classic mid-80s comeback album, TORE UP, which showcased his unique vocal abilities and featured a dynamic backup band led by Tinsley Ellis and the Heartfixers. In our work with Nappy, which involved tours in the U.S. and Europe, he dazzled us with stories of his experiences with legends like Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, and Sarah Vaughan. He was a fun loving guy on and off the stage, and his ability as a showman was unparalleled. Little Richard once said, “I never wanted to have to follow Nappy onstage…he’d wear the audiences out.” Nappy continued to perform up until he was hospitalized recently, as his music reached a whole new generation of fans.
We will miss him greatly. Our condolences go out to Nappy’s family and his many fans. DITTO!!