Louisiana Facts-of-the-Day Extra Info

September 11, 2005

Musician ‘Gatemouth’ Brown dies in Orange

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, the singer and guitarist who became famous with juke-joint stomp numbers and built a 50-year career playing blues, country, jazz and Cajun music, died Saturday in his hometown of Orange, Texas, where he’d gone to escape Hurricane Katrina. He was 81.

Brown, who had been battling lung cancer and heart disease, was in ill-health for the past year, said Rick Cady, his booking agent, in a telephone interview Saturday. Cady, who received a call earlier Saturday from Brown’s manager, Jim Bateman, said the musician was with his family at his brother’s house when he passed away.

Brown’s home in Slidell, a bedroom community of New Orleans, was destroyed by Katrina, which wiped out much of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans, Cady said.

“He was completely devastated,” Cady said. “I’m sure he was heartbroken, both literally and figuratively. He evacuated successfully before the hurricane hit but I’m sure it weighed heavily on his soul.” .

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