Tony Russell “Charles” Brown (September 13, 1922 – January 21, 1999) was an American blues singer and pianist whose soft-toned, slow-paced blues-club style influenced blues performance in the 1940s and 1950s. Between 1949 and 1952, Brown had seven Top 10 hits in the U.S. BillboardR&B chart. His best-selling recordings included “Driftin’ Blues” and “Merry Christmas Baby“.
Brown was born in Texas City, Texas. As a child he loved music and received classical music training on the piano. He graduated from Central High School in Galveston, Texas, in 1939 and Prairie View A&M College in 1942 with a degree in chemistry. He then became a chemistry teacher at George Washington Carver High School in Baytown, Texas, a mustard gas worker at the Pine Bluff Arsenal at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and an apprentice electrician at a shipyard in Richmond, California, before settling in Los Angeles in 1943.