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Topically Yours with Deardra Shuler Guest Oscar Brown Jr

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Prior to his passing, Deardra Shuler spoke with the famed Oscar Brown, Jr., an American singer, songwriter, playwright, poet, political aspirant and civil rights activist. He unsuccessfully ran for office in the Illinois State Legislature and U.S. Congress. A Chicago native, while in life, Oscar Brown, Jr., began his singing debut on the radio show, Secret City at age fifteen. His first major recorded work was in collaboration with Max Roach, “We Insist! Freedom Now.” Oscar composed songs like Bid “Em In,” “Work Song,” “Dat There,” “Sin and Soul,” Signifying Monkey, “Watermelon Man,” “The Snake,” and “Afro Blue.” A prolific writer and playwright, Brown wrote and produced “Sin and Soul” and “Big Time Buck White” which starred Muhammad Ali. He founded The Oscar Brown, Jr. H.I.P. Legacy Foundation to carry on his work. A bit of a maverick and a definite innovator, Brown appeared on the Today Show with host Dave Garroway. The first and last time an entire Broadway show was featured on the Today Show. Brown wrote at least 1,000 songs (only 125 have been published), twelve albums, and over a dozen musical plays. His paperback book: WHAT IT IS—POEMS AND OPINIONS OF OSCAR BROWN JR., includes lyrics to some of his better-known songs as well as lyrics to songs Brown never got to record. A man for the history books, Deardra wanted to revisit her show with Oscar Brown Jr., so that audiences around the world can keep those who have forged a world of beauty, art and individualism alive in our memory and heart.
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