Avenging The Derailing of
Oscar Brown, Jr.’s Career
The Brown sisters are related by blood, and these days, also bonded in business. They call their company: 2Brown Sisters. In addition to performing together live in concert, and staging tributes to OBJ keeping his name and music alive, they are committed to organizing and preserving their fathers’ body of work and proliferating the material for further discovery.
Oscar Brown, Jr. LEGACY
Today, the outspoken nature of an iconic artist like Oscar Brown, Jr. might not raise that many eyebrows. However, when he burst onto the scene in the late 50’s and early 60’s, America was not ready for his artistic truth telling.
THE WORLD NEEDS IT NOW!
In their own words: “it is most important to us to make sure OBJ’s works are discoverable to a worldwide audience, and that means knowing for ourselves what the work is." As if that were not enough, add their role as talented performing artists, and it stands to reason, Mr. Brown would be glowing with pride at how his two daughters are carrying the torch.
OBJ Tribute shows: Since his passing in 2005, Africa and Maggie have staged and co-produced shows in tribute to their prolific progenitor. Some tribute shows featured his new, previously unreleased works, while others called attention to the musical stage plays.
In 2015 the Brown family proudly celebrated the naming of Oscar Brown, Jr. Way, along Harper Avenue between 52nd & 53rd streets, in Chicago. This site, known as Harper Court, is extremely significant being home of the Harper Theater where OBJ produced his 1967 musical review: SUMMER IN THE CITY; responsible for spawning artists like Gavin Christopher and Spanky & Our Gang.
Kelan Phil Cohran
The iconic musician, composer, and teacher who collaborated with OBJ in the late 1950’s to create: Lyrics of Sunshine & Shadow. This show set the groundwork for arts-in-the-schools models so popular today. Cohran became a mentor to the Brown sisters who were able to work under his tutelage, record and perform in concert with him.
Cybersoul, Maple Leaf & “New” Musicals
The OBJ Play Reading Series conducted at the Logan Center for the Arts included one play which had never been brought to the stage: CYBERSOUL is what OBJ considered his “computer generated musical.” 2 Brown Sisters’s vision of making examples of OBJ’s musical plays, required Maggie and Africa to work with musicians to posthumously collaborate with their father using his lyrics and coming up with melodies and arrangements.
One of the masterpieces in OBJ’s stage plays is written about the great King of the ragtime players: Scott Joplin. Creating sheet music to establish the lyric OBJ interpreted required first to establish the vocalese with the music. Africa worked with pianist and arranger Miguel de la Cerna to create the score for Oscar’s MAPLE LEAF.
"My daughters Africa and Maggie continue to be wonderful performers and seeing them and the rest of my children succeed has made me extremely proud. I hope one day that their lives in the spotlight can be as bright as mine has been."
-OBJ, "What It Is: Poetry of Oscar Brown, Jr."