In November 2020, we ran a story about Edmonds resident Billie Brown and her efforts to honor her father, the late William “Boy” Brown. Boy Brown played a pivotal role in discovering and promoting a range of R&B, Soul and Zydeco artists while associated with KJET Radio out of Beaumont, Texas. (His brother, and Billie’s uncle, is the “Godfather of Soul” James Brown.)
Billie’s efforts paid off, with the City of Beaumont hosting a small (due to COVID) Boy Brown Day on Dec. 8 2020, followed by a much larger Boy Brown Soul-o-Rama ceremony, included a concert, in December 2021 that was attended by more than 500 people
On Friday, Billie paid a visit to the office of Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson, presenting him with certificates from Beaumont Mayor Robin Mouton and Houston City Councilmember Michael Kubosh. The certificates expressed the elected officials’ appreciation for Nelson’s efforts to support Billie as she worked to establish a Boy Brown Day.
Based on the success of the 2021 event, the mayor of Beaumont has announced there will be an annual Boy Brown Day and a larger venue is planned for December 2022. Nearby communities have also expressed an interest in joining in.
To recap, our November 2020 story detailed Billie’s lifetime in the music industry as a promoter and norm-busting disk jockey (making it big in a male-dominated field). The story told of her growing up to a parade of music notables passing through the family home, the tragic altercation of Boy Brown with Beaumont police that broke his neck and left him paralyzed, and the decades-long efforts of Billie and her siblings to gain official recognition for her father and the other pioneering staff of KJET Radio for their profound influence on both the Beaumont and national music scene.
In December 2020, we reported on Billie’s trip to Beaumont — financed through a GoFundMe account established by her Edmonds neighbors — where her father was honored by officials from Beaumont and the nearby city of Houston.
During Friday’s presentation, Billie thanked Nelson for his past support, which included supplying a certificate for the mayor of Beaumont, expressing the appreciation of Edmonds for Billie and for Boy Brown.
Billie read from the certificate provided by Houston City Councilmember Michael Kubosh, noting its inclusion of the following quote (from William Churchill): “You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.”