Remembering Pat Brown

JACKSON, Miss.  - Meridian, Mississippi native and blues singer, Pat Rush Brown, has died. Brown, 69, was well-known for her hit with Willie Clayton, "Equal Opportunity." Brown fell ill last week in Jackson. She would have celebrated her 70th birthday next week.

Brown was greatly influenced by fellow Meridianites, David and Jimmy Ruffin, and Al Wilson.

Berry and Gardner Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Pat Brown, attended Harris Jr. College, also in Meridian, where she joined a group called The Dynamics which later became The Commodores. As a child, her Idols and babysitters were Al Wilson (Show & Tell), David Ruffin and Jimmy Ruffin "who all pushed or inspired me to continue to sing and work hard" says Brown. After college she moved to Jackson, Mississippi where she began her recording career. She struck gold on her first album with the great "Equal Opportunity" which has become a southern soul anthem and her signature song.

Brown's best album to date features the smash "Two Week Notice", a slow soul diamond with great lyrics. "A relationship is just like a job/the more time you put in/the more time goes on your card........"I'm giving you your two week- two week notice- oh I bet that you notice me now!". The Brown co-write "My Old Man And Mrs Jones" is a clever allusion to Billy Paul's classic "Me And Mrs. Jones" now from the wife's point of view. But then on "U-Me And She" Pat is Mrs. Jones. Although "New Tricks" is mostly sweet Southern Soul there's still one blues. "I'm In Love With Your Man" is a lowdown blues by Brown (co-written with Rue Davis). The song is a cousin to Peggy Scott-Adam's recent hit "I Intend To Take Your Place". Showing her versatility she also goes from the funky dancer "99.9 Percent Chance", which has an addictive refrain, to a powerful and emotional reading of Quinton & Steve Claunch's pop standard "A White Dress, A Blues Lady" (previously done by Toni Green).

Pat Brown has a great voice and has proven she can sing blues, Memphis soul, R & B dance music, pop standards and smooth contemporary soul. The latter dominates this third Tapna release, a follow up to her solid "New Tricks". Although "FYIO" may have crossover appeal it isn't what we've come to expect. It's just too smooth. Where's the blues? Where's the attitude? The best moments are Ronnie Lovejoy's hit "Live In Woman" and the slow rolling "If It's Good For You". Fans of mainstream pop R & B will also enjoy "Take Your Time".

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