Monday, June 30, 2008

"This Ain't Nothin' But God!"

Lattimore Brown - I'm Not Through Loving You

Today is a truly humbling day for your ever-lovin' Stepfather of Soul. Today, while resting at home on a sick day, I received an e-mail from my friend, fellow soul blogger and fellow Guardian honoree Red Kelly (from The B-Side, Soul Detective and other fine blogs) that has brightened my day and allows me to unveil a secret I'd been sitting on for nearly a year.

Last October I received an email from a nurse in Biloxi, Mississippi, seeking information about Lattimore Brown, as she had a 76-year-old patient of the same name. His condition was very poor (he was delirious and confused, she noted) but he said he was a singer. She searched for him on Google and found my blog.

Now, conventional wisdom had it (and quite a few reputable sources stated) that Lattimore Brown was believed to have died in Arkansas in the 1980s, so I sent her a picture of Brown, and she replied that she had taken the picture to his room and he immediately wrote something on it that looked like song lyrics!

Having heard the extraordinary story of how Howard Tate was rediscovered after his rumored demise, I knew that this was big news. Around the time of these events, Red Kelly had been running a series at Soul Detective about Detroit pianist-turned-Sound Stage Seven producer Bob Wilson, who had worked with Lattimore Brown. After getting permission from the nurse to send her email on to Red, I did so and Red got in touch with Bob. Shortly thereafter, Red informed me with confirmation from Bob that this mystery patient was indeed "Sir" Lattimore Brown. At that point, Red and Bob set in motion a quest to find Lattimore, one that was full of challenges but was ultimately successful. During all of this, Red and I decided that we would keep this news to ourselves until we could determine what shape Brown was in, etc.

Well, the secret is no more. "Sir" Lattimore Brown is alive, and Red, Bob and a documentary filmmaker have chronicled his rediscovery. It was a journey that took them from Biloxi to Memphis, and Red has posted the first installment of the story over at The B-Side. Do check this amazing story out, and look out for more from Red and me as the story continues to develop!

Red writes in his article:

As folks told us down there in Mississippi again and again: "This ain't nothin' but God!". You know what? They were right.

I was taught as a small child that God uses people to accomplish things, and that even insignifcant acts can be part of a much larger scheme of events. I am so proud of the fact that this little blog set in motion these events. May God bless Lattimore Brown, Red Kelly, Bob Wilson and, most importantly, that anonymous nurse who decided to find out something about her patient and to contact me.

Today's selection, Brown's best-known recording, seems so appropriate. Lattimore Brown is not through! Amen.


Agent45 said...

Congrats, Jason! What a great bit of news that you and Red get to share with everyone!

The Stepfather of Soul said...

Thanks - By the way, congrats on the Numero comp; I didn't get to come out Friday night for the release party, but I'm planning to feature it this week!

Red Kelly said...

Yes, Jason, that is indeed the case. Sir Lattimore is most definitely not through... not by a long shot!

As I told you before, none of this would have been possible without you... or God!

Say Amen, Somebody!

whiteray said...

What a story! Nice work, Jason!

soulbrotha said...

Stories like this make me tear up. I am so grateful to you, Red and Bob and ESPECIALLY that nurse. Our people are always forgotten and left for dead. Long live Sir Lattimore!

dirk said...

What a beautiful story indeed. Soul music brings people together.
Kind regards from Antwerp, Belgium.

madlad said...

Great story! I wonder how many more are out there somewhere. I treasure my 45 copy of Sad Sad World on Sound Stage!