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Danny Joe Brown

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Best known as the raspy-voiced frontman for Southern rock combo Molly Hatchet, singer Danny Joe Brown was born August 24, 1951, in Jacksonville, FL. At the age of 19, while a member of the U.S. Coast Guard, he was diagnosed with diabetes, but after completing his military duties he nevertheless pursued a career in rock & roll. In 1974, Brown teamed with lead guitarists David Hlubek and Steve Holland to form Molly Hatchet, so named in honor of the 17th century prostitute chopping off her clients' heads. After adding guitarist Duane Roland, bassist Banner Thomas, and drummer Bruce Crump and honing its Dixie-fried hard rock on the Southeast club circuit, Molly Hatchet issued its self-titled debut LP in the fall of 1978, selling a million copies. The follow-up, Flirtin' with Disaster, moved twice as many units, but as the band's commitments increased, Brown's struggle with diabetes grew more difficult, and exhaustion forced him to resign in 1980. He resurfaced in 1981 with a solo project, Danny Joe Brown and the Danny Joe Brown Band, before rejoining Molly Hatchet a year later for the tepidly received No Guts...No Glory. The group went on hiatus in 1985 but returned four years later with Lightning Strikes Twice. The record fared poorly, and Molly Hatchet soon dissolved for good, although a latter-day version of the group with none of its original lineup still intact played the club circuit well into the following century. Brown retired from music for good after suffering a massive stroke in 1998. He died of renal failure at his home in Davie, FL, on March 10, 2005. ~ Jason Ankeny


24 August 1951 in Jacksonville, FL

Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s