Danny Joe Brown Biography

danny joe brownClaim to Fame: Singer (Molly Hatchet)
DOB: August 24, 1951
Date of Death: March 10, 2005
Diabetes Type: Unknown

The lead singer of 70’s Southern rock band Molly Hatchet, Danny Joe Brown was best known for his contribution to the band in songs like “Flirtin’ with Disaster” and “Whiskey Man,” for both of which he wrote the lyrics and supplied the vocals. Rough, grating, croaky voiced Brown and the members of Molly Hatchet were influential in creating the subgenre of rock music known as “Southern rock.”  Together with the Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, and the Charlie Daniels Band, Molly Hatchet combined the rebellious spirit of rock with the unique sounds of country, gospel, and blues.

Brown was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1951. He graduated from Terry Parker High School in 1969, after which he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. While enlisted, Brown was stationed in New York where he learned, at the age of 19, that he had diabetes. Two years after joining, Brown left the Coast Guard to pursue a career in music.

In 1974, Brown joined up with David Hlubeck, Steve Holland, Bruce Crump, Banner Thomas, and Duane Roland to form Molly Hatchet.  The group released their first album under Epic Records in 1978 with the band’s name as the title. The album was a great success, selling 1,000,000 copies and receiving a platinum certificate from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). A year later, the band released another album titled, “ Flirtin’ with Disaster,” which sold twice as many copies and was awarded a double platinum certificate.  However, as the band’s popularity grew, so did the demands to perform and Brown’s diabetes began to prove a burden for the performer.

In 1980, Brown was forced to leave the band due to increasing concerns in regards to his diabetes, pancreatic problems, and overall health.  However, after only a year of recuperation, Brown was back on the music scene with a solo project, The Danny Joe Brown Band. In 1982, Brown returned to Molly Hatchet and, together, the band released four more albums. In 1998, Brown was, again, forced to leave Molly Hatchet after suffering a stroke. Brown retired from music soon after and returned to Florida. On March 10, 2005, Brown died of renal failure resulting from his diabetes. The rock icon was 53 years old when he died.

Find more musicians with diabetes.

Last Modified Date: November 28, 2012

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by Brenda Bell
Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...
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