He first learned to play piano from his father "before I could talk". His music career began in the 1960s, and he worked through that decade and the next developing his astonishing guitar skills. By the mid-1980s he was teaching guitar at the Hank Thompson School of Country Music at Rogers State University, in Claremore, Oklahoma.
In 1985 Junior Brown invented a double-necked guitar, with some assistance from Michael Stevens. Junior called the instrument his "guit-steel". When performing, Junior plays the guitar by standing behind it, while it rests on a small podium/music stand. The top neck on the guit-steel is a traditional 6-string guitar, while the lower neck is a full-size lapsteel guitar for slide playing. Brown has two guit-steels for recording and live work.
His debut album was 1993's 12 Shades of Brown; it was followed by Guit with It later that year (1993 in music). Both albums cemented his reputation as one of the more critically acclaimed country performers of the 1990s.
In 1995, Brown released Semi Crazy, and followed it with 1997's Long Walk Back.
In 1996, Brown was featured on the Beach Boys' now out-of-print album Stars and Stripes Vol. 1 performing a cover of their 1962 hit "409". The song features Brown playing guitar and singing lead with the Beach Boys singing harmonies and backing vocals. Brown also won the CMA Country Music Video of the Year award in 1996 for his video, "My Wife Thinks You're Dead," which featured 6-foot-7-inch Gwendolyn Gillingham.
Brown's music has been showcased on various tv shows and movie soundtracks, including Me, Myself and Irene, SpongeBob SquarePants and the 2005 Dukes of Hazzard remake, in which he also played the narrator.
Although Brown plays traditional country and Hawaiian steel styles, few of his performances will finish without some blues playing and surf instrumentals.
Visit the Junior Brown at Highline Ballroom website: