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R.I.P. Texas Johnny Brown: Smoothest Houston Bluesman Dies at 85

Hearts are heavy in the Houston blues community tonight as word spreads that 85-year-old Texas Johnny Brown, one of the classiest acts on the scene and the author of Bobby Bland's epic "Two Steps From the Blues," has passed. Brown's son Shawn had been handling his father's care, and he tweeted news of Brown's passing to members of the Blues Society around 7 p.m. Monday.

According to one follow-up message we received, Brown passed in his sleep and without pain.

The diminutive, dapper bluesman has been a fixture on the Houston blues scene since arriving here from Mississippi at the tender age of ten with his father, who was a blind blues musician. Brown worked with his father for some time before beginning a successful solo career.

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William Michael Smith