Joe Brown, who plays the Grand Opera House on April 16, was one of Britain’s first rock and roll stars. He burst on the music scene as the “chirpy Cockney” whose knack for playing guitar and cheeky smile earned him countless fans.
Indeed, his growing popularity possibly saved his life when he was pulled from touring with American rockers Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran to play some solo gigs in 1960.
Consequently, he avoided the car crash that killed Cochran and injured Vincent.
Brown was, for a time, bigger than The Beatles; the soon-to-be Fab Four supported him when Joe Brown And The Bruvvers played the Cambridge Hall, Southport, and the New Brighton Tower Ballroom in July 1962.
George Harrison coveted Brown’s slim, twin cut-away Gibson, and the two guitarists became firm friends.
As Brown recalls: “The Beatles were a real hard act to follow but we did it – to our credit we did do it.”
And Brown, now 72, has been doing it ever since, touring regularly and playing an eclectic mix of musical styles, including rock and roll, rockabilly, folk, country and gospel.
The highly-regarded musician’s musician, who plays guitar, ukulele, banjo, mandolin and fiddle, prides himself on always putting on a good show.
He will be joined at the Grand Opera House by his five-piece band featuring his son Pete Brown, a record producer and multi-instrumentalist.
- Joe Brown In Concert is at the Grand Opera House on Wednesday, April 16, at 7.30pm
- Tickets from £26.85. More details on the Opera House website