Blue Bird Cafe Nashville

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Contact: nolen@suddenlink.net

Nolen Brown Web Site Information

Nolen Brown's web site is www.nolenbrown.com for more information and to hear more songs. Please click on the link above

Some Heros Don't Come Back Written By Nolen Brown Recorded By Carissa Amberly

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Box of Christmas Kisses For You Daddy

Please let Video Clip load completely before trying to view this will keep it from skipping. You may have to keep sliding the arrow bar back until it loads. At the end of the video you will hear the complete song. video

Box of Christmas Kisses is one of my favorite songs that Daddy has written. This clip is Christmas Eve 2006 with Aubrie Stahl singing (granddaughter of Nolen Brown). This song was written by Nolen Brown and Lauri Stahl (my sister). Daddy and Aubrie have preformed this song many times together. The last part is the song as it was recorded for a demo. Putting a box of Christmas Kisses on our tree is a tradition since 1997 after my brother passed away in 1996.

By Schelley Brown

Carissa Amberly

CARISSA AMBERLY, the dynamic young singer from Longview, Texas that performed in the opening ceremonies of the Moving Wall here in Minden has been nominated for FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR and SONG OF THE YEAR by the Texas Music Awards for her song SOME HEROES DON’T COME BACK, written by Minden songwriter, Nolen Brown.

Bill Mack, Grammy-winning songwriter; Member of the Country Music Disk Jockey Hall-of-Fame in Nashville and host of his own show on XM satellite radio 171 in Ft. Worth, Texas had this to say about Carissa, “Carissa Amberly is one of the most talented “newcomers” I have heard in quite sometime. She is blessed with an original approach to a song. After I aired her “Some Heroes Don’t Come Back”, my listeners responded in a BIG way.”

How the song, “Some Heroes Don’t Come Back” and Carissa has touched the lives of so many firefighters, truck drivers, soldiers and their families is unreal. Carissa’s My Space has grown by leaps and bounds with so many people letting her know how much she and that song has touched their lives. Check out: http://www.myspace.com/carissaamberlymusic to see some of the comments people are sending her and to hear her music.

In 2006, Carissa was the winner of the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame talent showcase. This has opened many doors for her in Texas and Nashville , Tennessee . She sang for President Bush and over 10,000 people in Sugarland , Texas after winning the talent showcase. She has also been invited to perform at the Texas State Firefighters and Fire Marshall’s Convention June 6th and 7th in Beaumont , Texas . This is a group of approximately 12,000 members and they will be honoring their Fallen Heroes of 2007.

You can help Carissa win in the Female Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year category by going to her my space or by going to http://www.texasmusicawards.org/ and casting your vote for her. The voting period for the general public will end on February 22, 2008 . She will appreciate it so much!

The awards show will be held on May 3, 2008 with the festivities starting at12 noon in the Palestine Civic Center , Palestine , Texas and the winners will be announced then.

Nolen is amazed and so happy at the response this song is getting from across the nation and even in other countries. He is especially amazed that someone so young (Carissa was only 15 when the song was recorded) can deliver that song with so much purity and realism. Bill Mack also said, “Her rich vocals combined with sincere Country and Gospel music written by some of today’s top songwriters have produced her first solo album, “Letters”. You can purchase a copy of the CD “Letters” on Carissa’s web site: http://www.carissaamberly.com/ or her my space: http://www.myspace.com/carissaamberlymusic

Play Me A Song Daddy

When I was a little girl my daddy was the Pied-Piper of Claiborne Ave. All the kids would follow him and ask him to sing and play his guitar for them. He was always surrounded by the neighborhood kids on the front porch or in the back yard.
For family vacations we always went to Nashville “The Home of Country Music”, that’s where daddy fits in the best. As a kid, I thought everyone went to Nashville for vacation. In the sixties, we would load up in our old Chrysler, in the middle of the night and drive while it was cool. We usually had a car load of people going with us, from aunts and uncles, to my great-grandmother. Back then you could get a lot of people in a car! I can remember that my mama would fill the back floorboard with pillows and we would sleep on the way to Tennessee. We stayed and played in the pool while daddy would cut demos and meet with other singers and songwriters.
I remember one trip to Nashville when the whole family went. By this I mean several car loads of family. While we were on a tour bus to see Music Row, daddy had gone to take care of music business. The tour guide was saying, “Over here to your left is Acuff-Rose Publishing and if you look you may see some famous stars.” About that time the doors opened and out came Daddy and my Uncle Pete. We all waved and said, “There’s daddy!” I didn’t know that he was a great songwriter, he was just my dad. All I had ever known was the man that always sang, played his guitar and wrote songs.
He grew up, the son of a share-cropper in Dubach, La., with one brother and three sisters. They grew up with out much money and less to do for fun. They would have song contests with each other and daddy would make guitars out of cigar boxes and sticks. He still remembers some of those first songs that came to him as a young boy. He has music in his blood; Mickey Gilley (Urban cowboy Gilley’s) is his cousin. Mr. Boe Cook, of KASO radio in Minden used to help Daddy celebrate his birthday by playing his songs and calling January 10th “Nolen Brown Day”.
In the sixties and seventies he was a contract writer for Acuff-Rose which at the time was the biggest publisher in the world. Acuff-Rose was later bought out by Sony Music. Bobby Bare wanted him to move to Nashville to write for his publisher but he didn’t think he could sit in a room for eight hours a day and write. He needs inspiration to write and four walls wouldn’t make for good songs. He had a family and a good job. Growing up poor you didn’t give up a good job and up-root your family easily. He made a sacrifice and stayed in Minden. He never gave up the dream and continued writing and going to Nashville always hoping for that one great break. He has written and co-written hundreds of songs and had many songs recorded by famous singers such as Roy Orbison and Joe Stampley to name a few.
I once took him to show-and-tell at Richardson. He sang his songs for the class. I was the only kid that had a dad that came to school and sang. He always knows how to entertain a crowd young and old!
Daddy retired a few years ago from Duke Energy. This has given him and my mom the time to get into his music full time. He writes from his heart which underwent five by-passes last year and from many of his life experiences. Even while in ICU he was thinking up songs and singing to the nurses. He has become accustom to phone calls and meetings with important people from Nashville. Not many people have a standing invitation to perform at the Blue Bird Café in Nashville, but he does!
May 1st, 2004 my dad was informed that his song “It all hit home today” was named one of the top five songs in the Songwriter Universe Contest. It was the only country song in the top five. You can go to songwriteruniverse.com to hear this song. He was also a finalist in the Nashville song search for 2003 for his song “I need a Mr. Right, Right now.” He also has a video out right now by Tony Douglas for his song “Did I Say Something Wrong.”
Anyone that knows him believes that one day soon he will have a number one hit. Nobody deserves it anymore than my daddy Nolen Brown. So if you see him around ask him to sing you a song. He’ll be glad to share his gift of words with you! My Daddy has given me many things through out the years but the gift of love is his best gift.
By Schelley Brown

Story Submitted To Chicken Soup For The Music Lovers Soul

This is the story of a friend of mine.

A man I'm proud to call a friend.

His name is Nolen Brown.

Nolen is a modern day philosopher.

The oldest son of a Southern Sharecropper, he has worked hard to enjoy a comfortable retirement
for him and his wife, Omega.

My friend Nolen is a songwriter...a great songwriter.

Nolen and I belong to a local songwriters association and he is the best songwriter in our group. He has helped many of us hone our skills, even helping to co-write some songs where he saw a 'diamond in the rough'. In my opinion, he is too good to be at our level, but he always shows up, supporting the good and the not so good alike. Nolen is an inspiration to us all.

I met Nolen a few years after the loss of his son. Although his son had passed away, you can tell that he is never more than a thought away from Nolen's heart. Although Nolen isn't wealthy, you could call him rich. He is well loved and has many friends. He has a gift that he shares with anyone who will listen.
His gift is his song.

Nolen has the ability to write lyrics that can touch your soul. He can write lyrics and create melodies that can make you laugh out loud or make tears flow like rain. He has spent many years capturing his life's experiences, putting them to paper and sharing them where they touch everyone around him in a positive way. He has hundreds of songs, and from where I sit, most could be hits if the right person were to hear them.

Nolen sings of life and generally writes in the first person. His phrasing is unique, every word necessary and never too many words. He has written songs about love, loss and loss of love. He writes songs that make you sit back and realize things don't necessarily need to be the way they are, perhaps they could be better. I call these songs revolutionary songs. He calls them protest songs, probably because he wrote some of them during the 60's when he was first honing his story telling skills as a Contract Writer for Acuff-Rose Pub.(now Opryland Music) in Nashville, Tennessee. Those were times of great change and his songs capture that social consciousness. Some of his songs can move you to inspiration and wonder, amazed at the experiences that make up our lives and connects each and every one of us. I wish everyone could hear Nolen's songs. The world would be a better place.

Nolen is a very humble man. He doesn't search out the spotlight, but he is always accommodating to play one of his songs that will endear him to you. The first time I ever heard Nolen sing was about two years ago and he immediately made me sit up and pay attention. I remember it vividly. Like a first kiss or a school boy’s infatuation, you can close your eyes and the moment is etched upon your soul and time is captured for eternity. The song he sang that night was, "Lord, Help Me Make It", which was a top 10 finalist- Gospel Category- in the USA Songwriting Contest 2001 with over 30,000 entries. He told the small audience there that night that it took three years for him to write the song, because it was inspired by the loss of his only son, Jeff, who had taken his own life. I sat there in silence thinking of my two children and how precious they are to me. I don't live in fear of losing them, but that night, and that song, touched me so deeply that I said a silent prayer thanking God for the blessings I have.

LORD HELP ME MAKE IT


WAS THERE TO SAY MY LAST GOOD-BYE
I TURNED MY HEAD UP TO THE SKY,
AND CRIED, "NOW LORD, I CAN'T TAKE IT".
TO LET (HIM/HER) GO IS SO HARD TO DO,
EVEN THOUGH (HE'S/SHE'S) THERE WITH YOU,
SO LORD HELP ME MAKE IT.

CHORUS

GIVE TO ME A CHAIN OF STRENGTH,
STRETCH IT OUT AND ADD A LINK,
I KNOW IT'S GONNA TAKE IT.
HELP ME TO ENDURE THE PAIN,
TILL THAT GREAT DAY WE'LL MEET AGAIN.
YES LORD, HELP ME MAKE IT.
MY LORD, HELP ME MAKE IT.

SO MANY TIMES MY LIFE YOU'VE BLESSED
NOW I MAKE ONE MORE REQUEST OF YOU
OH LORD, YOU'VE NEVER LEFT ME.
THIS MOUNTAIN OF GRIEF I'LL HAVE TO CLIMB,
IF YOU'LL JUST HELP ME ONE MORE TIME.
MY LORD, WON'T YOU HELP ME?


REPEAT CHORUS (C) 1999 NOLEN BROWN




The songwriters group gets together for an open mike night about once a month at a local hotel. Nolen is the bright spot of the evening. Although he has hundreds of songs, most of which are great, he never tries to show up the other artists. He plays his song with little or no fanfare, always downplaying his performances; yet, he still is the bright spot of the evening. Nolen always brings something fresh to the group each month.

Occasionally, the group is asked to perform for benefits and fund-raisers. Everyone can count on Nolen to be there. Earlier this year, a local group was looking for Saturday afternoon entertainment to add ambiance to their event. It was during this early spring afternoon that Nolen and his song touched someone and they touched him back. This is that story.

I thought I might not go to the event. But, after a great deal of back and forth discussion with myself, I decided to check it out. Nolen was already there when I arrived. I didn't know what he was going to play, but I knew the audience would be pleasantly surprised. I believe they let each performer do two songs that afternoon. Nolen took the stage and his first song was a relatively new song entitled, "The Grass Beneath the Swing", written by Nolen, Omega and Robert Eaton.


THE GRASS BENEATH THE SWING

SHE USED TO COME TO ME AND SAY,
"DADDY, TAKE ME TO THE YARD AND SWING ME.
MAKE ME GO REAL HIGH, WAY UP TO THE SKY,
"DADDY WON'T YOU SWING ME?"
AND WHERE HER FEET WOULD DRAG THE GROUND,
THE GRASS WAS TORN AWAY THERE FROM THE LAWN.
AND I WOULD SMILE AND TELL HER MOM,
"I GUESS WE'LL GROW SOME GRASS WHEN SHE GETS GROWN”

CHORUS

AND THAT ONE SPOT WAS ALWAYS BEAR.
GRASS COULD NEVER GROW RIGHT THERE.
HER LITTLE FEET KEPT IT SWEPT CLEAN.
THERE WAS NO GRASS BENEATH THE SWING.

VERSE 2


WE'LL, I'M THE ONE WHO BOUGHT THE CAR,
AND I'M THE ONE WHO TAUGHT HER HOW TO DRIVE.
AND HOW I LOVED TO HEAR HER SAY,
"DADDY, LET ME TAKE YOU FOR A DRIVE".
AND I'M THE ONE WHO TOOK THE CALL,
THAT CUT INTO MY HEART JUST LIKE A KNIFE.
SOMEONE DRANK TOO MUCH,
VEERED INTO HER PATH AND TOOK HER LIFE.


CHORUS

NOW THERE'S GRASS BENEATH THE SWING.
AND I KNOW THE HEAVEN'S SING.
NOW SHE'S EARNED HER ANGEL WINGS.
AND THERE'S GRASS BENEATH THE SWING.

BRIDGE

MY MIND REPLAYS HER CHILDHOOD DAYS,
AND I STILL SEE HER SMILE.
THOUGH GOD NOW HOLDS HER IN HIS ARMS,
HE SHARED WITH US A WHILE.

REPEAT 2ND CHORUS
(C) COPYRIGHT 2000/Nolen Brown/Omega Brown/Robert Eaton


It always amazes me how a good song, an emotional song can touch you so deeply in three minutes. You can feel the authors pain or joy and the feeling becomes your own. You see, every author needs a reader and every performer need an audience; each, as important as the other.

One lady, Carolyn Wintjin, was in the audience. I'm not sure why Carolyn was there that day, or why Nolen had picked out those particular songs that day. After all, like I said, he has hundreds that he could have chosen to play and I'm sure they all would have been well received. But as it turned out Carolyn and Nolen had a common life's experience. They both were survivors of children that were now in God's hands.

It took a number of months, but Carolyn contacted Nolen. She had remembered him and his song that touched her that day. Perhaps time, now her adversary, motivated her to reach out. Whatever the reason, she contacted Nolen by e-mail, September 11, 2002. In her letter, she wrote:

Hi Nolen,

Congrats on being in the top 10.

I will not ask you how you lost your son, and there are no words to describe your feelings except in a song. I lost four sons and a four-month-old daughter in a fire in Colorado in 1971. I now have a daughter named Courtney, age 15, and she is a gift from God. I used to ask why, but I have learned you just have to trust and believe in your faith. I have learned that I have cancer and have been given a year to live.
You know God is the only one, who really knows, and he doesn't need any more bosses in Heaven and Hell won't have me. I thank God every day for each and every day he allows me to spend with my family. Now, I know why your songs went straight to my heart. Always remember friends are hard to come by and acquaintances come and go. Hope to see you on the 26th of October. In my book, you are already #1.
My family enjoys your music, so keep it coming.

Later,
Carolyn

In an earlier e-mail Carolyn had requested a CD of THE GRASS BENEATH THE SWING if he had one and wanted to get it from him on October 26, when the group would be performing there again. Nolen didn't wait until the 26th of October. He mailed her a Demo CD with 20 of his songs on it (not of his sing-ing, but by professional demo-singers and musicians in Nashville). I have heard the CD and if Carolyn is like me, and I suspect she is, she has found a friend. And friends like Nolen are hard to come by.


By: Johnny Wessler

The above was submitted to CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE MUSIC LOVER'S SOUL which has yet to be published.