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For Junior Brown, 1996 is very very good to him

By Jeffrey B. Remz, December 1996

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There was some social commentary as well with "They Don't Choose to Live That Way" about the homeless and "Don't Sell the Farm" about family farms.

Last year, the label released an EP containing previously released songs, though some were now live. The intent seemed to be to build Brown's career.

Brown received glowing reviews, although his music was not exactly Music City mainstream because of the growth of the more commercial sounding country of hat and dance acts.

Probably the "My Wife" video was the single aspect that helped break Brown's career. He may not have received much radio play, but he sure was on television.

He had two number one videos this year.

He also recorded a track on the Beach Boys disc, "409," one of the highlights of a generally panned release. "It didn't really take off that much," Brown says. "They sure were nice to me, and I enjoyed working with them because I always liked their music. They had heard the 'Surf Medley.' They asked me to do it."

Brown put his own tattoo on the song. "I put a steel guitar solo in there," he says. "I thought should I put a rock guitar? I thought anybody could do that, so I put a surfin' steel in there."

Looking ahead to 1997, one change in store will be a bit less touring. "I've got a lot of time off to write, so I'm going to take a lot of time off for the holidays and after the holidays to write, preparing for this (next album)," Brown says. He did close to 300 concerts in 1996 opening for The Mavericks and Alan Jackson.

"I really want it to be as good as it can be," he says of his next release. "I've been working so hard...I got to start writing and see where it takes me."

Brown, who once again will self-produce, expects to record in February or March with a disc out in May or June.

While the idea of self-producing may be a rarity in Nashville - and it's something that Brown has done from the get go - he says that was no big deal. "I didn't have to," he says. "They knew it was either that or I wouldn't be Junior Brown."

And as if to emphasize his uniqueness in today's world of country, "We didn't have a category, so we just created one."

Based on how 1996 turned out with an award, several nominations and a solid supporting tour, Brown is happy. "It's been my best year,"he says. "It's been great."

"I spent a lot of years playing those songs to myself or playing a lick to myself," he says. "It's a big payoff after all those years."

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