Altyrone Deno Brown

Altyrone Deno Brown's childhood home was both harem and commune, with anywhere from eight to ten women sharing a bed and paycheck with Arrow Brown, his father. Acting as manager and agent for his son, Bandit Records proprietor Brown hit the pavement, looking to exploit the burgeoning talent around him. Deno spent nights singing Sam Cooke to patrons of Chicago’s south side club circuit. Instead of school, Deno auditioned and rehearsed. His 1973 single “Sweet Pea” b/w “If You Love Me” didn’t light up the phones at any local stations, but his hard work would eventually pay off with co-starring roles in Yaphet Kotto’s Monkey Hustle and the off-Broadway production of Raisin. By the mid-1970s, Deno’s star was on the rise as “Chicago’s answer to Michael Jackson." One absurd headline read, "Watch out Dylan, Here comes Deno!" But as he got older, the cereal ads and movie roles dried up. He scored a cameo as a dancer in The Blues Brothers, but his second single, synthy soul ballad "The Eclipse Of Love,” was completely ignored.

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