Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown Dead at 81

Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, whose unique vocal, guitar and fiddle style spanned jazz, country, blues and Cajun music, died Saturday (Sept. 10) in Orange, Texas, where he was staying with family members after leaving his home in Slidell, La., to escape Hurricane Katrina. The 81-year-old musician was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004 but declined to undergo treatment. After Brown left Louisiana, the hurricane reportedly flattened his house and flooded his car. Following his first hit, “Okie Dokie Stomp,” in the ’40s, Brown toured internationally and recorded more than 30 albums. Although broadly classified as a rhythm & blues artist, Brown recorded a cover version of Little Jimmy Dickens’ novelty hit, “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose,” during the ’60s. Living in Nashville during the ’70s, Brown made guest appearances on the Hee Haw television show and recorded a critically-acclaimed album, Makin’ Music, with Roy Clark.