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Who Hylo Brown
What Bluegrass pioneer dies at age 80 (Hylo Brown)
When January 17, 2003
Where Mechanicsburg, OH

(Excerpt from the article mentioned above)

Bluegrass pioneer dies at age 80

News-Sun Staff Writer

Frank Brown, the Grand Ole Opry member nicknamed Hylo because of his vocal range, died Friday morning. (January 17, 2003)

He was 80.

Brown, a former Springfield resident who made Mechanicsburg his home in recent years, died just after 4 a.m. in Mercy Medical Center, said his daughter, Sheila Brown. Hylo Brown had been in declining health because of cancer, she said.

Bill Purk, the Northridge school guidance counselor who leads the Muleskinner Band, called Brown a bluegrass pioneer.

“When he was hitting this, it was still unplowed ground,” said Purk, who befriended Brown in Mechanicsburg about four years ago. “There were times he'd be on a major label and he'd be holding another job down.”

In an interview with the News-Sun last March, Brown said working as a bluegrass picker used to be “hard sleddin’.”

Brown launched his career from Springfield when he moved with his parents from Johnson County, Ky., at age 18.

He earned his memorable nickname after he wowed a DJ with his range on “The Prisoner's Song,” a 1920s hillbilly hit.

For full text of obituary article, click here.

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Contact Andrew McGinn
Springfield (OH) News Sun


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