On a Christmas Eve many years ago while exiting the Market-Frankford line at 40th Street in sight of all reaching street level was an elderly woman laying on the ground calling out for help. The sidewalks were icy, all around rested dirty old snow while the wind whipped extremely cold air. Only two people came to her aid.
While balancing myself on the ice clutching my guitar trying not to slip or to have my guitar stolen in the process of helping the woman another guitarist who happened to be on the train also came to her assistance. In turn he clutched his guitar and balanced himself in the same manner as I. That other guitarist was Rolly Brown. We didn’t know each other until that moment and working in concert helped the woman to her apartment a few blocks north of Market on 40th Street. The area was a much different place in 1978 and we found camaraderie in getting back to the safe zone after we assisted the woman in getting home safely. It turned out that Rolly lived around the corner from the friend I was on my way to visit. We exchanged phone numbers and went on our way. It was the early period of my studies on the classical guitar. The discovery of guitarist Rolly Brown led to my introduction into a uniquely different way of guitar playing.
Rolly Brown never went away. He has been a staple in the Philadelphia music scene as far back as the 1970’s. Rolly’s guitar skills have him ranked among the finest guitarists on an international level and has performed along side many musicians of note. The list of accomplishments for Rolly Brown is extensive which includes National Fingerpicking Champion, nominee in the Philadelphia Music Awards and radio show host.
The rediscovery of the guitar playing of Rolly Brown came as a result of the new form of public transportation-Face Book. The full circle in the rediscovery came when I saw his name and picture listed on the page of the friend that I was visiting in 1978 that placed us on the Market-Frankford Line at the same time.
For a guitar player or any musician the entire effort to obtain information before the trial of public performance is based on the theory of discovery so all melodies, rhythms and phrasing will be presented with as much knowledge as possible and that neither audience or performer will be kept secret from the true meaning of the music. Through suppling information on clinics, performance and theoretical education rollybrown.com is an information source that leads one to discovery.
The site also includes information regarding Rolly’s performance schedule and CD’s.