Wednesday, February 15, 2006

This is a real jazz-lovers gem! The Bright Rose of Bronzeville

Arnett Howard, once again, sent in this amazing gem of Columbus jazz history. I always love looking at the old photographs, but that piece of original music recorded more than 70 years ago is killer, to say the least. Be sure and listen to the mp3 attached below. Just click on the link.

"My People, Thanks to Doug Tracy the mystery woman has been uncovered. He found this column in the pages of the Ohio Sentinel, a Black newspaper that I used to deliver as a child on the Westside. Doug, you are da' man! Bright moments, A

PS: The music files are from Jim Loeffler, whose father, Bill, recorded them on a homemade disc cutting maching in the 1930s. The photos are from the Cols. Call-Post newspaper."

The Bright Rose of Bronzeville
By Eddie J. Colston, The Ohio Sentinel, March 29, 1958 edition
Listen to this recording by Madame Rose Brown

Name any great Columbus entertainer in the past decade and the name Madam Rose Brown will ring a bell. Years ago, Madam was the town's top performer. Today she still has firm hold on her star studded crown by singing and swinging in the area's night clubs and plush cocktail lounges.
The young clique will remember Madam more vividly from her weekly TV show a few years ago, over WTVN-TV, for a segment of "The Rose Brown Show" was devoted to introducing fresh talent. Born in Savanah, Georgia, Rose Brown came to Columbus to visit relatives.
Out on the town one night she did several guest numbers at a couple of popular night haunts. With soulful blues, sexy torch songs and energetic swing style, she had the town's nightlifers in the palm of her hand. Since then, this has been Rose Brown's town. Wasn't so long ago that Rose rose (and I'm not tongue tied) to the pinnacle of Broadway success, when she costarred with the late Bill Robinson as Katisha in Mike Todd's "The Hot Mikado." Her Broadway appearance was in a featured role in "My Dear Public," starring Willie Howard and a long list of today's top stars.
Rose has added other musical triumphs and flattering press notices to her scrapbook with top billings with The Page Cavanaugh Trio. Louis Jordan's Band, the Page One Ball, sponsored annually by the Columbus Chapter of the American Newspaper Guild and many others. Norman Nadel, Columbus Citizen's celebrated theatrical editor and big voice in show business recently penned a lengthy feature on Rose Brown. Nadel said, "I thought of shows I'd seen, singers I heard in Manhattan nightspots where the cover charge would buy food for a family of six. Once in a blue moon you might hear a singer like Rose. People from Columbus go to those New York clubs when they travel east. They could do as well or better, listening to this handsome dark-skinned woman singing in a little club on High Street."
Another thrill for Rose was her invitation to audition for the role of Bloody Mary in the original "South Pacific" cast. "Rogers and Hammerstein brought me to New York," he recalled happily, "and I sang the part for them. But when I saw Juanita Hall do it, I told them to go ahead and pick her, because she was perfect for the part. But I would have loved it."
Currently, Rose is slated to make a series of films or live appearances on WTVN-TV doing Negro spirituals.

Note: Rose Brown passed in 1960.

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