first came to fame with the first million-selling 12" dance single, "Do Ya Wanna Get Funky with Me."
was a pioneer in home recording, having recorded his seminal hit in his bedroom. (His '70s-era home recording studio is pictured on the cover of Westside/DNA's
Born July 11, 1953 in Blue Island, IL, Brown
, started playing drums in his teens and later began experimenting with his four-track reel-to-reel tape recorder in his bedroom studio. The singer/keyboardist/producer was signed to Drive Records, a subsidiary of Henry Stone
's TK Records. His first album for the label, A Fantasy Love Affair, was produced by Cory Wade
, who had helped Brown
get the record deal. The percolating "Do Ya Wanna Get Funky With Me" went to number three R&B, number 18 pop on Billboard's charts in summer 1977. Another Drive LP, Stargazer
yielded "Crank It Up (Funk Town), Pt. 1." His 1983 RCA LP, Back to the Front
included the charting single, "Baby Gets High." Brown
's 1984 Columbia LP, Snap
included the sly rock/dance classic "Zie Zie Won't Dance," the dub reggae-sounding "Hot Flash," the driving, swirling horn-laced "Electric Shoes," the dream-like "Double or Nothing," and the pumping single, "They Only Come Out At Night." In September 1999, Brown
's Chasing Fireflies was released by Orchard and in November 1999, UK label Resurgence issued Brown
's Party in the Rain CD.