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Sin & Soul... and Then Some

Oscar Brown Jr.

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Album Review

Oscar Brown, Jr.'s debut recording, Sin & Soul, is a true classic. A brilliant lyricist, a dramatic singer, and a highly individual genius in his own way, Brown performed a dozen memorable selections for this album. His lyrics to "Work Song," "Watermelon Man," "Afro-Blue," and particularly "Dat Dere" are famous; "But I Was Cool" and "Signifyin' Money" are humorous; "Bid 'Em In" is a chilling depiction of a slave auction; and "Rags and Old Iron" is quite touching. Essential music from an underrated great.

Biography

Born: 10 October 1926 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Although rooted in jazz, singer, poet, and activist Oscar Brown, Jr. defied musical categorization throughout his long and eclectic career — a forerunner of the political consciousness that would become predominant in soul, funk, and hip-hop in the decades to follow, his efforts to exact social change spread across the arts and even into government, spurring two unsuccessful but memorable campaigns for office. Born on Chicago's South Side on October 10, 1926, Brown was the son of a successful...
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Sin & Soul... and Then Some, Oscar Brown Jr.
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Contemporaries