The Nigerian Music Industry has come a long way, from obscurity to Limelight. Over these years, the industry had witnessed the celebration of outstanding performances and talents, and at no time could the music industry be appraised without paying tribute to exceptional men and women who stepped into the spot light, broke barriers and carved an excellent niche for themselves.
One of such men is Rivers State born foremost Highlife music Icon and gospel music maestro, King Sunny Brown who celebrated his 75 eventful years on earth last Saturday at the Hotel Presidential Port Harcourt. The climax of the celebration was the Launching of his foundation called King Sunny Brown (KSB) Music Foundation for the training of upcoming musicians across the country.
Speaking at the well attended event the Chairman, Chief Jasper Jumbo described King Sunny Brown as a skilled highlife Icon whose songs contained words of wisdom with cultural blend. He thanked God that King Brown lived up to 75 years and wished him more years to come.
The Chairman who was represented by Chief Lawrence Jumbo noted that the positive changes brought to the industry by King Sunny Brown would always remain a point of reference in the present generation and beyond. He therefore urged musicians in the country to emulate his patriotism and selfless service to mankind and the Nigerian music industry.
Former President, Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) Mr. Teemac Omatshola in his speech at the occasion stated that King Sunny Brown was one of Nigeria’s living legends in the music industry.
According to him, “King Sunny Brown’s Foundation is a legacy for the Nigerian music industry”.
He promised to bring King Sunny Brown’s music back to the market by recording and remixing them in CDs and VCDs. The seasoned flutist assured that with the sophisticated recording equipments in his studio, the recording would be completed within a short time.
Hon. Dakuku Peterside, a member of the House of Representatives, reiterated that King Sunny Brown was one of the music Icons of our time, a valuable treasure, a link between our past and present tradition, custom and music. He assured that he would not allow the legacy he left for the younger generation to die.
He promised to join hands with Omatshola to keep King Brown’s music alive and to contribute to his welfare.
In his vote of thanks, King Sunny Brown, the ‘Original Pickin’ as he is fondly called by his friends and admirers, expressed gratitude to those who attended the occasion and contributed to its success. He assured that as long as he lived, he would continue to do more for the Nigerian music industry. He therefore called on the state government and the private sector to pattner with his foundation.
It would be recalled that King Sunny Brown was born in 1937 at Finima, Bonny in Bonny Local Government of Rivers State.
He started his music career at a tender age in Christ Army School Bakana where he played in the school band with late Highlife King Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson who was his senior in class. During the Nigerian civil war, both of them also played in the 3rd Marine commando band.
King Sunny Brown’s exploits in the music industry took him to various parts of the country including Kano and Lagos, he also travelled to some West African countries such as Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal etc. He played music with notable highlife giants like late King David Bull of Professional Seagulls Band of Port Harcourt, Roy Gabriel, a retired Nigerian Army music instructor at the Paradise Dance Band Kano.
Others were, Late Saxophonist, Paul Isamade (Babby Face) in the Top Toppers Band owned by Bobby Benson. With his Band, King Sunny Brown Jazz Band, he thrilled highlife lovers at various hotels in Port Harcourt namely Hotel Presidential, Olympia Hotel Cheez Bar, Shell Club etc. Now as an elder at the Redeemed Christian Church of Christ he has many gospel songs to his credit.