Charles Brown

West Coast blues pioneer Charles Brown (1922–1999) was an influential singer, songwriter and pianist, known for his soft, laid-back stylings. The classically trained, Texas-born artist relocated to Los Angeles in the early ’40s, where he soon found success as the singer and pianist in Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers. The group, which followed the popular jazz-influenced blues-club style of the time, scored their first R&B hit with “Drifting Blues.” The trio continued to chart throughout the decade, with songs like “Sunny Road,” “So Long,” “New Orleans Blues” and, of course, “Merry Christmas Baby.”