Oscar Brown Jr. was not a man easily defined. Monikers like songwriter, composer, actor, singer, director, producer, playwright all fit, but they are somehow inadeauate. There are very few people of a certain age who have not heard of or know of Mr. Brown’s renown. Brown fathered seven children. His daughter, Maggie Brown, carries on the tradition of her late father with her own unique style and delivery. —tony binns
What was it like growing up, Maggie Brown?
It’s probably not the romantic vision that people might have. I lived with my mom — dad was on the road a lot. Growing up Maggie Brown didn’t have much show biz in it.
Briefly talk about how your professional career evolved?
Well, ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be in show business. … I was outgoing, I would get in the school plays and different things. Thanks to nepotism that at the age of 15, I got my first professional opportunity in my dad’s play, In The Beginning. So, while I really kind of got a start in musical theater, my career, my emphasis has been concentrating more on singing, putting out a CD, and trying to get distribution and that sort of thing.
What do you think your dad is most remembered for as an artist?
I think Oscar Brown, Jr. is most remembered for being a “stand up” guy — for not backing down [and] for not selling out. He was given a gift to be able to write like that, to sing like that and feel music and melody. He knew it was a gift. I think he appreciated it [his gift], and he didn’t compromise for the sake of what someone might like or what was popular.
When history looks back on the musical career of Maggie Brown what do you think you will be remembered for?
‘Leaving it on the dance floor,’ so-to-speak. It doesn’t matter if it is 500 people or five people in the room I am going to perform as if it was my last, and they know I’ve put myself in it. I am carrying on that tradition of those who uplift our culture and carry it forward; not just in a commercial way.