Friday, September 17, 2021

RADIOSCOPE REWIND: Horace Brown’s Career Was Saved When Andre Harrell Moved to Motown

Horace Brown
Horace Brown

*Had Horace Brown never busted his knee in high school and derailed his dream of playing pro basketball… Had Andre Harrell never been hired to run Motown…

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The son of an Apostolic minister out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Brown was playing several different instruments in his high school marching band when the knee injury tuned his full attention to music. One of his demos crossed paths with Jodeci’s DeVante Swing and soon he was in the studio laying background vocals for Christopher Williams, Jodeci’s label mate on Uptown Records. Label president and CEO Andre Harrell overheard him singing in the studio one day, and a solo recording contract soon followed.

But controversy surrounded his first single. This was 1994, and radio wasn’t ready for a song about oral sex.

Some radio stations in the South banned the single and it fizzled on the chart. After releasing the track “Let Me Know” as a 12″ promo single, his debut album that was to follow was instead shelved.

But in 1995, Andre Harrell became the new president and CEO of Motown Records and asked Brown if he wanted to tag along. The preacher’s son was back in business, with Motown releasing two more of his singles, the hit “One for the Money” and “Things We Do for Love.” The following year, his self-titled debut album finally saw the light of day.

Just before its release in June of that year, Brown stopped by the offices of RadioScope to promote it. At the time of the interview, Motown had planned to release Brown’s single under a new second album named after one of the tracks, “Why Why Why.” But by the time the album dropped that summer, it was self-titled.

Below is the May 4, 1996, segment on talented crooner Horace Brown.

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