12
May
08

Charles Hilton Brown – Owed to Myself

So I went shopping for my birthday last weekend with some birthday money.  Got a few shirts and that was nice, but I really wanted a nice looking messenger bag…maybe one that will even hold records!  Both of the bags I found looked awesome, but were going for about $700.

$700 for a shoulder bag!?!?

That don’t even make sense!  I could get a 24 inch LCD screen for less and that would be much more functional! Luckily I made a pass through Urban outfitters and they had the new Lasonic MP3 boombox that I had been drooling over online.  It was $200, but fuck it…that’s the price you pay for awesomeness of this caliber!  And for the price of that stupid bag I could get three of these bad boys!

What does any of this have to do with Charles Hilton Brown and his amazing 1974 album “Owed to Myself?”

Not a damn thing.

But I just had to tell someone about my boombox.

That and there isn’t a lot of info on Charles or his album out there.  What information I do have comes from the blurb on Dustygroove and the minuscule liner notes.  From what I can tell Charles spent some time in England where he met up with a scathing Afro-Funk band called Assagai and they decided to record a album that Charles felt was “Owed” to himself.

I found a note somewhere that it was recorded in Italy as well…and that would make sense, since it was reissued by Italian super label Schema.

His deeply soulful sound is reminiscent of Otis Redding mixed with Tom Jones…and the results are just magnificent.  Whether he is covering classic tunes like ‘Ain’t no Sunshine’ or ‘Love Train’, or plowing through silky smooth originals like ‘Tell Me Once Again’ (first track below) Hilton Brown delivers like UPS on this rare slice of funky soul.

Also notable are Assagai’s sick instrumental jams ‘Maddox’ (second track below) and ‘GRF.’ Check out the samples below for some of that sweet sweetness!

Who was Charles Hilton Brown?  No one seems to know…and he never released another album again.

But thank God he released this one!

Download it off Amazon for $6!

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12 Responses to “Charles Hilton Brown – Owed to Myself”


  1. 1 ipse33
    February 14, 2009 at 3:04 am

    charles hilton brown was military based in italy in the 60’s; He was the leaading singer of the Four Kents

    that’s all i grabed on the web

    ipse

    • February 16, 2009 at 9:50 am

      Thanks! Every little bit counts!

    • 3 barbara
      March 11, 2010 at 1:24 am

      Rubbish. The lead singer of the four kents was george chandler who went on to join London Beat. The line up was Chandler, Stan Evans, Rudi Rollins and Charlie Boom Cannon.
      .. I was there at the time. Just because you found it on the web don’t make it right .,.. cheers!

  2. March 24, 2009 at 7:25 am

    THE GREAT THING IS THAT CHARLES HILTON BROWN STILL POSSESSES THE GREAT VOCAL ABILITIES OF YESTERYEAR…DURING MY MILITARY TOUR IN THE 70’S IN ITALY I HAD THE RARE PLEASURE OF SHARING THE STAGE MUSICALLY WITH MR. BROWN DOING A FEW COVER SONGS AND FROM MY UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE, THE WHOLE WORLD SHOULD POSSESS A COPY OF “OWED TO MYSELF” BY CHARLES HILTON BROWN IN THEIR MUSIC COLLECTION…..I DO AND I KNOW THAT THEY WILL ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT….

  3. 6 MondoInTransito
    May 5, 2009 at 9:36 am

    He even released at least one 45 rpm in 1970 singing in Italian (for the italian Durium label), with the songs “Mamma Rosa” (!!!) and “Mocotò”. I’ve never heard it myself, but here is a short, appreciative review along with the cover art (top of the page):

    http://digilander.libero.it/ciao.2001/mat_45giri01.htm

    Marco

    • May 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm

      damn it…with all this technology no one has bothered to rip it and put it on line???

      what a crime.

      Thanks for the link Marco!

  4. 8 marone
    June 1, 2009 at 5:08 am

    i got this album about 2 months ago – been listening to it non-stop ever since….

  5. 10 Tony
    March 30, 2010 at 6:28 am

    Well of course Barbera is 100% right. I was there myself too…:-)

  6. June 25, 2011 at 1:33 am

    …all i know is that the band is matata!


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