Iconic & Award Winning Producer Tony Brown Shares Commentary on Reba McEntire, Darius Rucker and The
The Country Note | November 12, 2020
Tony Brown, a producer behind more than 100 million album sales, was honored to see Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker pay homage to Mac Davis at the 2020 CMA Awards when they performed “In the Ghetto” on the broadcast. For Brown, this wasn’t his first time hearing the vocal performance as he had the pleasure of recording the song with Reba and Darius at Blackbird Studios. For those that missed the broadcast, you can view it below:
You can now purchase or stream “In the Ghetto” at the following links: https://strm.to/RMDRInTheGhetto.
“It’s always hard to cover such an iconic hit, but if anyone could do it, it’s Reba and Darius,” says Tony. “Fortunately, Reba got the opportunity to play a rough cut for Mac before he passed.”
For Reba and Darius’ thoughts on the single and Mac Davis, visit the Billboard exclusive interview with them about the tribute by clicking here.
Brown, who performed with Elvis’ TCB Band starting in 1975, was first introduced to the Mac Davis penned tune when he snuck into a rehearsal for an Elvis’ show at Las Vegas’ International Hotel in 1969. “He had just cut the albums with Chip Moman and there I was hiding behind a table listening to Elvis perform ‘In the Ghetto’ and ‘Suspicious Minds’ before I got kicked out of the room.”
“In the Ghetto” is a powerful story that unfortunately still plays out in a society plagued with systemic racism and poverty levels that were exasperated by the worldwide pandemic. Recorded and released in 1969, Davis put a spotlight on the cycle of poverty and violence in Chicago. Artists ranging from Dolly Parton to Marilyn Manson and Three Six Mafia have all covered the tune.
“Priscilla took a deep dive into Elvis’ activism and support of the Civil Rights Movement in her documentary for HBO titled ‘Elvis Presley: The Searcher,’” recalls Tony. “Elvis was very conscious about how blacks were being treated. He loved black music and certainly you can hear that in his own musical style, but what was most important was that he participated in shining a light on the strife of blacks. He was able to do that with ‘In the Ghetto’ and also with the lesser known ‘If I Can Dream’”
To learn more about Tony’s incredible, more-than-50-year career in the music industry, pick up his book Elvis, Strait, to Jesus. To purchase a copy and discover all things Tony Brown visit: www.tonybrownenterprises.com.