Remembering Don Brown and the Cobweb Corner


Don Brown

During  the summer of 1969,   I began  listening  to the Cobweb Corner, Don Brown’s radio program, on LA FM station KRHM.  He was the guide to my journey into the past through his radio program and his record store, The Jazz Man Record Shop.

In 1971, I went to tune in the program on KRHM but instead I got the Beatles  “Hey Jude” and several other then current rock hits on an endless loop.  The station had been sold, rebranded, and renamed.

But, Don soon reemerged on KCRW, FM Public Radio broadcasting from Santa Monica City College.  Don’s  show was broadcast there on Sunday nights until his death.    It was time for the Cobweb Corner when you heard Don’s theme music, Duke Ellington’s Harlemania:

Duke Ellington

 Don  had the most complete collection of Duke Ellington records in the world. Duke Ellington was Don’s  favorite and arguably the greatest jazz and swing band leader.  My view is that the Duke was always a couple of years ahead of everyone else.  Don really knew this music.

Another of  Don’s favorites, as I remember and Cary Ginell confirms, was Tiny Parham’s Washboard  Wiggles:

Tiny Parham was a much more obscure band leader.  He was born, in of all places, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada…my father’s hometown.  He now has a hard core of fans all over the world on You Tube.

I doubt that I would have ever heard of Tiny Parham were it not for Don Brown. His knowledge of the music of the 1920’s and 30’s was incredible.  Don also introduced me to the many other obscure artists.  Don would have been 92 years old today.

Don Brown photo credit:  Darlene Brown via Cary Ginell.

Thanks to Sinéad Doherty-Grant and  jazzgirl1920s

About Richard Rollo

I am a retired Community College Instructor. I taught Political Science 1 American Government for 22 years in Southern California. I am originally from Northern Minnesota. My earliest years were spent in the living quarters of a rural Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Railway Depot. Then my family joined the great 1950's migration to Southern California where I joined up with fellow baby boomers in overcrowded schools.
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