U Brown as he is popularly known in the reggae business was born Huford Brown on 8 June 1956 in Kingston, Jamaica. As a youth, U Brown used to accompany his dad to the local bars. Whilst in the local bars he spent most of his time listening to the jukebox, as his dad drank and socialised with his friends and this is how he developed a love for music.
Photo & Text provided courtesy of Ras Dennis.
As his love for music grew,U-Brown started cutting school and attending local dances at the tender age of eleven (1966 - 1968)). The big men who were running things pon the dance circuit at the time were Lord Comic, King Stitt and Great U Roy the original Godfather, master and teacher who greatly influenced U Brown and paved the way for modern dancehall. The ruling sounds that notably took his attention was King Tubby’s Hi-Fi with U Roy at the controls. The power of the sound, the quality, the dubs and the way U Roy handled dem riddims with characteristic wisdom and ease just got U Brown going. Around 1968 U Brown got a break in the dance hall circuit by getting an opportunity to deejay pon a sound called Silver Bullet, as he deejayed pon the sound he got a lot of encouragement and compliments that gave him a great push and confidence in what he was doing, which in the long run helped him to establish his style.
His greatest break of all came about around 1975 when the great U Roy was involved in an accident so was out of action for a while. U Brown was invited to deejay in place of U Roy
since he had a style that resembled the Godfather, to U Brown this was truly a blessing in disguise. U Brown was one of the first students to join U-Roy ’s DJ school. He, Ranking Joe and Ranking Trevor were among the first apprentices, before the coming of the Great Raggamuffin General Brigadier Jerry, Colonel Josey Wales and The Principal Charlie Chaplin just to name a few who were taught by the teacher himself, Daddy U Roy.
As he became more and more noticed,he got recording deals from various record producers of the time like Winston Edwards, Vivian Jackson (Yabby U) and Bunny striker Lee. Most notable were the 12" disco-mix records that kept flowing and got a lot of air play in Jamaica, London and America. He did "Keep On Knocking" with Late Ever Great Jacob Miller for producer Joe Gibbs, with the Crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Emmanuel Brown, he did "Say What You Saying" and "Foundation", with the cool ruler Gregory Isaacs he did "Border" and with The Chantells he did "Children Of Jah" and "Train To Zion" with Linval Thompson which became a title track of one of
his albums. All the above 12" disco-mixes are great master pieces that anybody could have of U Brown collection as he was at his peak, although up to date he has not lost his panache, not even an inch!!!
Around 1978 - 1979 he set up his own record label titled Hit Sound Records, he managed to make a number one hit with the first album he produced for himself titled "Weather Balloon" which was a great hit and seller all over Europe and America, he also went on to produce other artists and still does. At present U Brown is still touring Europe, America, Jamaica and Japan on sounds like Jah Love Music, King Stur Gav Hi-Fi, Blood and Fire Sound just to name a few. While in London, February 2002, U Brown linked up with Ras Dennis of "Dub Vibes Production" to record a brand new album entitled "Ah Long Time Mi Ah Dee-Jay", choke full of roots and culture.