Reclaimed Soul: Oscar Brown Jr.

Jazz singer Oscar Brown Jr. is during a 1998 interview in San Francisco.
Jazz singer Oscar Brown Jr. is during a 1998 interview in San Francisco. Susan Ragan / AP Photo
Jazz singer Oscar Brown Jr. is during a 1998 interview in San Francisco.
Jazz singer Oscar Brown Jr. is during a 1998 interview in San Francisco. Susan Ragan / AP Photo

Reclaimed Soul: Oscar Brown Jr.

Chicago’s Oscar Brown Jr. was a real renaissance man--singer, songwriter, actor, poet and civil rights activist. He was also a playwright. 

In 1966, Brown debuted a stage revue called Joy 66. The Chicago Tribune’s theater critic at the time wrote that Brown “performs like the polished star he has been for years, and directs smartly. His gift for both comedy and drama are in sharp focus." 

Joy 66 was a big success, with tickets in high demand for the production at a theater on Rush St. Brown wanted to bring a production to the South Side, but there were issues. 

Brown’s daughter Maggie, a solid vocalist in her own right, sat down with Reclaimed Soul’s Ayana Contreras to talk about what those issues were, and her father’s ingenious way of getting around it.