Peter Brown (singer)

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Peter Brown
Born (1953-07-11) July 11, 1953 (age 66)
Blue Island, Illinois, United States [1]
Genres Electronic, disco, post-disco, funk, classical, dance
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter and record producer
InstrumentsVocals, keyboards, percussion

Peter Brown (born July 11, 1953, in Blue Island, Illinois) is an American singer-songwriter and record producer. Brown was a popular performer in the late 1970s and early 1980s with hits that included "Do Ya Wanna Get Funky with Me" and "Dance With Me". He wrote, with Robert Rans, Madonna's hit "Material Girl".

Blue Island, Illinois City in Illinois, United States

Blue Island is a city in Cook County, Illinois, located approximately 16 miles (26 km) south of Chicago's Loop. Blue Island is adjacent to the city of Chicago and shares its northern boundary with that city's Morgan Park neighborhood. The population was 23,706 at the 2010 United States Census.

Do Ya Wanna Get Funky with Me 1977 single by Peter Brown

"Do Ya Wanna Get Funky with Me" is a 1977 single recorded by Peter Brown. The record sold more than one million copies. It was his first hit song. Backing vocals were provided by Wildflower.

Madonna (entertainer) American singer-songwriter and actress

Madonna Louise Ciccone is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. Referred to as the "Queen of Pop" since the 1980s, Madonna is known for pushing the boundaries of songwriting in mainstream popular music and for the imagery she uses onstage and in music videos. She has frequently reinvented her music and image while maintaining autonomy within the recording industry. Although having sparked controversy, her works have been praised by music critics. Madonna is often cited as an influence by other artists.


Early life

Brown grew up in Palos Heights, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. His mother, Virginia, was artistic and musically talented and gave Peter music lessons at a young age. Peter's father, Maurice, was an electronic engineer whose electronics helped Peter learn the technical aspects of recording music. He always brought home the latest technological breakthrough, which in those days included CB and ham radios, the first color television and the first stereo record player.

Palos Heights, Illinois City in Illinois, United States

Palos Heights is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 12,515 at the 2010 census.

Illinois State of the United States of America

Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois has been noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago) is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States.

Maurice also purchased a number of tape recorders, which Peter played with as a child. One of these machines, a TEAC A-1200 2-track, had a feature which allowed transferring recordings on one track to a second track, while simultaneously allowing recording something new on that second track.

Tape recorder analog audio storage device using magnetic tape

An audio tape recorder, tape deck, or tape machine is a sound recording and reproduction device that records and plays back sounds usually using magnetic tape for storage. In its present-day form, it records a fluctuating signal by moving the tape across a tape head that polarizes the magnetic domains in the tape in proportion to the audio signal. Tape-recording devices include the reel-to-reel tape deck and the cassette deck, which uses a cassette for storage.

TEAC may refer to:

Early career

Brown became serious about music in his teens and chose to learn the drums. His greatest inspirations in music at the time were Santana, Earth Wind and Fire and Chicago. He later became proficient playing timbales, conga drums, and a large number of other percussion instruments. Later, Brown was one of the pioneer users of the musical synthesizer, and for a time he was spokesman for the ARP Synthesizer company, since he used their products almost exclusively in performances and recordings. He has also been credited as being one of the founders of house music in the 1970s.

Santana (band) American band led by Carlos Santana

Santana is an American rock band formed in San Francisco in 1966 by Mexican-American guitarist and songwriter Carlos Santana. The band has undergone multiple recording and performing line-ups in its history, with Santana the only consistent member. Santana had early success with their appearance at Woodstock in 1969 and their first three albums, Santana (1969), Abraxas (1970), and Santana III (1971). Other important core members during this period include Gregg Rolie, Mike Carabello, Michael Shrieve, David Brown, and José Areas, forming the "classic" line-up.

Chicago is an American rock band formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois, calling themselves the Chicago Transit Authority in 1968 before shortening the name in 1969. The self-described “rock and roll band with horns” began writing politically charged rock music, and later moved to a softer sound, generating several hit ballads. The group had a steady stream of hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In September 2008, Billboard ranked Chicago at number thirteen in a list of the top 100 artists of all time for Hot 100 singles chart success, and ranked them at number fifteen on the same list produced in October 2015. Billboard also ranked Chicago ninth on the list of the hundred greatest artists of all time in terms of Billboard 200 album chart success in October 2015. Chicago is one of the longest-running and most successful rock groups, and one of the world's best-selling groups of all time, having sold more than 100 million records. In 1971, Chicago was the first rock act to sell out Carnegie Hall for a week.

House music is a genre of electronic dance music created by club DJs and music producers in Chicago in the early 1980s. Early house music was generally characterized by repetitive 4/4 beats, rhythms provided by drum machines, off-beat hi-hat cymbals, and synthesized basslines. While house displayed several characteristics similar to disco music, which preceded and influenced it, as both were DJ and record producer-created dance music, house was more electronic and minimalistic. The mechanical, repetitive rhythm of house was one of its main components. Many house compositions were instrumental, with no vocals; some had singing throughout the song with lyrics; and some had singing but no actual words.

In his youth, Brown had assumed he would become a painter or a graphic artist of some kind. After High School he enrolled in The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Although it was a prestigious school, professors seemed indifferent, and the facilities were rudimentary at the time.

Then Brown met Cory Wade, who eventually became his first producer. Wade encouraged Brown to give him some demo tracks for critique. At this point, Brown could use his 4-track recorder and his then-innovative synthesizer. Brown subsequently changed his career to music, but thought of being a songwriter, studio musician, or producer; however, Wade suggested that Brown become a producer. Brown assembled a group of musicians to perform his music, inspiring them with stories of his connections with Wade. Among the original members of the band was Pat Hurley, who sang and played keyboard in the band and who eventually co-write lyrics with Brown. Tom Dziallo played bass in the band bass and guitar on all of Brown's albums, and Robert Rans became Brown's lead keyboard player and primary lyric writing partner for many years. Brown's lifelong friend, Robert Vavrik, never joined the band but eventually penned some lyrics with Brown.

Cory Wade is a former American record producer and songwriter, known for producing some of the biggest hits in disco in the 1970s. A producer for TK Records, Wade co-produced the 1977 single "Do Ya Wanna Get Funky With Me" by Peter Brown, which became the first 12-inch single to sell a million copies. Wade also produced hit recordings for KC and the Sunshine Band, T-Connection, Foxy and made a comeback in the 1990s with a remake of Peter Brown's "Crank It Up" by Lawrence Leritz, released on Spectrum Records. Residing in Horn Lake, Mississippi, Cory Wade is currently working on a 3D feature films

They created some disco music, which was popular at the time, and wanted to take the track to TK Records in Hialeah, Florida,for a possible record deal. Within days of the record having been sent, Henry Stone, the president of TK, wanted to release the song just as it was and offered Wade a deal for the single. This was followed by an album deal if the single was successful. Although excited by the offer, Brown did not want his 4-track, home made demo released as the actual record.

Henry Stone and everyone at TK Records really liked the augmented version, so Brown and Stone made the album deal and settled on a six-month deadline to write new material and record the album. Brown also photographed the album's somewhat controversial cover and revealed, in a 1978 interview in Rolling Stone , that he had created the cover's nude model out of cardboard, sheer fabric and ribbons.

Music career (1977–85)

Late in 1977, TK Records announced that sales of the 12" version of "Do Ya Wanna Get Funky With Me" had reached the million dollar mark making it the first gold 12" single in history. Before too long the album went gold as well.

Billboard Magazine's Year End #1 Awards for 1978 named Brown the #1 new male album artist, #3 new album artist and #10 pop male artist. Also #11 pop male album artist, #16 soul artists and #11 soul albums. Cash Box Magazine's Year End Awards issue for 1978 named Brown #1Top Male Single Vocalist, #1 Top New Male Single Vocalist and #2 Top Male Album Vocalist along with #3 Crossover R&B Male.

The 1978 Record World Magazine Disco Awards named Brown Outstanding New Performer, Top New Male Vocalist and Top Male Vocalist. He was also nominated by NARAS (The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) in 1978 for a Grammy Award for best R&B Vocal Performance for the song "Dance With Me". "Dance With Me" also included a guest vocal performance by Betty Wright. Also in 1978, Brown's single "Crank It Up" peaked in the Billboard Disco Chart at #4.

His first professional performance came on the American Bandstand television show, hosted by Dick Clark. That year, Brown also took part in the filming of a television special to promote the upcoming movie Foul Play with Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase. He also filmed a segment for the television show 60 Minutes showing the process of how a song is actually recorded in the recording studio. Later years saw him performing on the Mike Douglas Show , American Bandstand and as a presenter on the American Music Awards. On tour in 1978, Brown and his band (now with additional members Keith Anderson, drums, Joe Guzzo, guitar, Mike Hillinger, keyboards and Wildflower, background vocals) played venues as diverse as New York's The Bottom Line and Madison Square Garden.

On Brown's second album (recorded at Studio Center and Criteria Recording studios in North Miami, Florida), Stargazer, he was joined by Laura Taylor and Dan Hartman singing background vocals on the song "It's Alright."

In 1980, Brown released another charting dance song (#6 on Billboard's Disco Chart) called "Can't Be Love – Do It To Me Anyway", which was only released as a 12" single and never appeared on an album. The initial success of his career was soon overshadowed by legal disputes and the eventual bankruptcy of TK Records. After the dust cleared he was able to sign a new record contract with Warner Brothers with the help of a new management team, Wiesner/DeMann Entertainment. The 1983 album was called Back to the Front and was produced by Brown with executive producer Bob Gaudio (The Four Seasons) and recorded at Gaudio/Valli Recording Studios in Hollywood, California. Featured are musical guests Michael Brecker (saxophone) and Michael Boddicker (synthesizers). From this album, the song Baby Gets High reached #6 on Billboard's Disco Chart. Brown remained with Freddy DeMann after he started a solo management company whose clients included Madonna and Michael Jackson.

In 1984, Brown co-wrote "Material Girl", which became one of Madonna's biggest hits and signature song. It also made Brown's music publishing company, Minong Publishing one of the year's top music publishers.

Brown also wrote a song for Agnetha Fältskog, "Maybe It Was Magic". Peter Cetera from the group Chicago was producing her solo album I Stand Alone and liked the song. Brown also wrote "East Meets West" for the Japanese group Sandii & the Sunsetz. Brown's final hit was "They Only Come Out at Night" which hit the number one slot on Billboard magazine's Dance Chart in April 1984. Brown's fourth and final album Snap was recorded at Pumpkin Recording Studios in Oak Lawn, Illinois, owned by Gary Loizzo, who was a former member of The American Breed and sang their hit "Bend Me Shape Me" in 1968. This album contained the song "Zie Zie Won't Dance" which spawned Brown's music video by the same name. The video, filmed in London, was nominated for best video (special effects, art direction and editing) along with videos by Madonna and Bruce Springsteen at the second MTV Music Video Awards in 1985.

In the late 1980s, a severe case of tinnitus prompted Brown to quit the music business in an attempt to preserve his damaged hearing. He began a design company which headed the award-winning redesign of the Chicago Board Options Exchange Internet site, among other wide-ranging design and architectural projects.

In late June 2018, Brown released his fifth album, Boom, his first album release in over 30 years. It features 11 tracks of his signature dance/R&B sound. Singles include "Boom", the a cappella title track, "Dancing All Alone", and "Drama Queen". Boom was written, performed, arranged, recorded, and mixed entirely by Brown on an iMac computer using only Auratone speakers and a Sennheiser MD 441U microphone.



Compilation albums


See also

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  1. Hogan, Ed. Peter Brown: Biography. Retrieved 27 Sept 2018.
  2. 1 2 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 82. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.
  1. Information was gathered from personal records and private journals.
  2. Edited excerpts from Random Notes (copyright 2002, Mingong Enterprises, Inc)