General News

Entertainer Michael Brown dies

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Jun 30, 2014 | 10:40am EDT

Cabaret performer and songwriter Michael Brown has died at the age of 93. The musician lost his battle with lymphoma at his New York home on 11 June (14). Brown began his entertainment career in the late 1940s after landing a gig at legendary Big Apple cabaret mogul Julius Monk's Le Ruban Bleu venue and penned songs for all of the guru's revues, including Four Below in 1956, Dressed to the Nines in 1960 and Dime a Dozen in 1962. He also worked on Broadway, writing tunes like Lizzie Borden for Leonard Sillman's New Faces of 1952, which was later adapted into a film directed by Harry Horner, and Indoor Girl, which was performed by singer/actress Pearl Bailey in a 1954 production of Harold Arlen and Truman Capote's House of Flowers. Lizzie Borden was later recorded by the Chad Mitchell Trio vocal group, which also popularised another of Brown's songs, The John Birch Society. Brown's success allowed him and his wife, Joy Williams Brown, to support author pal Harper Lee financially for a whole year while she completed work on her literary classic To Kill a Mockingbird in 1956. They broke the news to the writer with a Christmas note which read: "You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas." To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee's only published book, was released in 1960 and earned her the Pulitzer Prize.

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