Bunny Brown



Bio Bunny Brown The man with the velvet voice, singer extraordinaire Joel “Bunny” Brown has been involved in the music business from 1968. Bunny first started singing in the church at age 9 in the junior choir and this lit a thirst for performing that is still burning bright. He continued in the church and school choir and he became a member of “The Wildcats”, a band formed by students of the St Aloysius Boy’s School. It was with the wildcats that Bunny first went into the studio, where the group recorded a cover version of “Single Girl” which was titled “Bachelor Boy” and was released under the name Noel Brown on the Federal label. Ironically this song was not popular until 2000 when it became a hot single in Europe. After two years with the Wildcats, Bunny joined the “Mighty Mystics” as lead singer. The group included “Keith & Tex”, “Mikey & Jeffery Chung” and “Sparrow Thompson” all from Kingston College (KC) and all to become world famous Jamaican musicians. The Mighty Mystics exposed Bunny for the first time to the world of true professional musicianship. They had a regular weekly gig at the famous Victoria Pier and performed at schools concerts all around Kingston and its environs. It was while with the Mystics that Bunny met Derrick Harriott who had just produced the major hit “Stop That Train” for “Keith & Tex”. Harriott who was to become a major producer and singer quickly established a strong working relationship with Brown.


In 1969 Bunny recorded “Man’s Temptation” a Curtis Mayfield song for Harriott. He followed this with “By The Time I get To Phoenix” which received strong airplay and good reviews. Sales were moderate but the song was the first to truly establish Bunny as a recording force with which all had to reckon. Towards the end of 1969, Brown moved from the Mystics to the “Dynamic Vision” with Willie Lee (later of Third World), Keith Jones (presently with Santana) , and major deejay and singer – Scotty. He stayed with the Dynamic Vision, opening for Byron Lee on concert stages until the end of 1970 when he moved to the Falcons. With The Falcons, Bunny started a new era in his musical career. As a member of the group he brought in the young teenage talent Dennis Brown who was to become the Crown Price of Reggae. The group toured extensively around the entire island and also embarked on a tour to Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas with the legendary Price Buster and Judy Mowatt & The Gaylets. Mowatt was later to become world famous as a member of the I-Three, the backing vocal trio for Bob Marley. The Falcons also recorded for Studio One, but none of these recordings were released. By the winter of 1971, Bunny decided that he wanted proper artistic control of his career and that the way to achieve this was by forming his own group. That group was “The Chosen Few”. Bunny was joined by David “Scotty” Scott and Franklyn Spence for the original trio. After they recorded their first hit single “Psychedelic Train”, Scotty departed for a solo career and Bunny added Errol Brown and Richard McDonald to the group and the Chosen Few became a major force in Jamaican music.

The group created classic hits such as “Ebony Eyes”, “You’re a Big Girl Now” (both Stylistics covers), “Shaft”, “Are You Gonna Break Your Promise”, “In The Rain”, “Drift Away” and “Queen Majesty”. During this period they also served as backing group for all Derrick Harriott studio productions. In 1973 the group landed it’s first tour, to Toronto Canada. The tour was a great success and the group also worked with the now world famous “Inner Circle” band at the Manhattan Centre ballroom in New York to a rapturous audience. Following this success, the group was based in Toronto for one year, undergoing a hectic touring and concert schedule.

brownAfter a short return to Jamaica, the group left for London where their cover of the Main Ingredients “Ever body Plays the Fool” was heading up the top 40 charts. The song peaked at 25 and established the group as a major act in the UK. The Chosen Few were signed to Polydor Records, managed by Tony Gordon (who also managed Boy George & Culture Club as well as Lulu). The group toured for Polydor with the Fatback Band and Gloria Gaynor as well as on solo engagements. With Polydor the group produced two chart hits, “You Mean Everything To me” and “I can Make Your Dreams Come True”. Eventually the group moved from Polydor to Hansa Records in West Berlin Germany, which also had on their label, Donna Summer, Boney M, Eruption, Ami Stewart, all massively successful in the 1970s.

The group was produced by Pete Biloti and George Morodeo, the producers of Donna Summer. During this period, the group’s disco version of “Stand By Me” was a monster hit throughout Europe. The group continued touring Europe with acts like Silver Convention, Hot Chocolate, Billy Ocean, Joan Armatrading and Sylvester. During this time the Chosen Few also worked with producers of “Queen”, the legendary rock opera group. While with Chosen Few, Bunny established himself as a session vocalist working with the best of the best in pop, rock, R&B and reggae. He sang on recordings for Manfred Mann, Boney M, Ami Stewart, Links and the Rod Temperton and Heatwave. Bunny also recorded “Strawberry Letter 23” as a solo artiste. This recording went on the British Charts. It was following this success with EMI Records, that Bunny was featured in the Village Voice and went to America to promote the single. While in America Bunny Brown toured with Heatwave, performing with Earth, Wind & Fire, The O’Jays, Billy Joel, and Yoko Ono.

886062_10200528575757427_2142192312_o In the studio he worked with Luther Van Dross (recording commercial jingles), Curtis Blow, The Main Ingredients, Lisa Fisher and Kenwood Dennard of The Manhattan Transfer and Delmar Brown keyboard player with of Sting. He also recorded an album “Funky Weekend” produced by Tony Sylvester of the Main Ingredients which was never released because of contractual agreements. In 1990 Bunny established his own label and production company – Joel’s Ark with which he then embarked on the production of music of all kinds. The first project was a fusion album called “Future Wave” featuring his own vocal talents. The album was never released. Over the next years, Bunny continued to tour and record. In 2003, Bunny was offered a production deal by Sir Coxsone Dodd of Studio One and returned to Jamaica (moving from Atlanta where he had been based and where he introduced reggae to rapper “Little John”) to record the album, “Ready For The World”. The album is now released and is doing very well in Europe. The taste of Jamaican life was invigorating to Bunny who threw himself into recording, production and promotion and quickly became a Jamaican household name for the second time. Among his projects since his return home has been the production of an album “Father and Son” with Daniel Brown, the son of later superstar Dennis Brown. He has worked extensively at Studio One doing vocal arrangements for several artistes and has become a leading light in an exciting new artiste rights group.
Bunny is currently touring with the album “Bunny Brown Sings the Classic Hits Volume 1” and presently back in studio recording a new album, titled “SLY & ROBBIE PRESENTS BUNNY BROWN” produced by Sly & Robbie.