Jump blues and straight forward boogie was Brown's style and he produced some of the best of the genre throughout the 40s and 50s in particular. He is also a clear precursor to the rock & roll that followed - in many ways a pioneer who exerted a primary influence on the popular chart music of the 50s and early 60s. His seminal “Good Rockin' Tonight” (1947) is one of the records cited as bedrock of American popular music.
Roy Brown was born in the Crescent City but moved around in his youth, finally arriving in Los Angeles at the age of seventeen. He came up with “Good Rockin' Tonight” whilst fronting a band in Galveston and the song was taken straight to the top of the R&B charts by Wynonie Harris.
Brown started to get R&B hits of his own as early as 1948 and was regularly in the charts on the Deluxe label right through to 1952, proving himself a talented songwriter as well as a skilled and extrovert performer. Hits such as 'Hard Luck Blues', 'Boogie At Midnight', 'Miss Fanny Brown' and 'Long About Midnight' kept him in the spotlight for a four to five year period, and then his Deluxe contract was bought out by King Records in 1952 - his records for King were still of a very high standard, but his sales declined dramatically. Given that he had paved the way for so much of the rock and roll that was charting at the time; it was unfortunate that Brown was unable to cash in on the music's popularity.