Born Abraham Himmelbrand, Teddy Brown was an American musician and entertainer who majorly used to play a musical instrument, the xylophone.
In this article, we will cover Teddy Brown’s Net Worth, Early Life, Career highlights, and many others. So, read the full article to know everything about Teddy Brown.
What Was the Net Worth of Teddy Brown at the Time of His Demise?
According to several estimates, the net worth of Teddy Brown was said to be between $1 to $5 million at the time of his death.
Early Life and Career
Teddy Brown was born on May 25, 1900, in New York City, United States. He started by playing in the New York Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time but during the late 1910s, he switched to the popular music field.
He was an instrumentalist with Julius Lenzberg’s Riverside Theatre Orchestra for a while and his earliest recordings were xylophone solos in 1919 and 1920 with Lenzberg’s band on Edison Records.
In 1925, he landed in London with Joseph C. Smith and his Orchestra. The following year he set up his own orchestra, playing at the Café de Paris. He also played in other nightclubs both in London and Paris along with the Kit Kat Club, usually playing the xylophone with a piano or performing as a solo act.
The personalized Besson xylophone that he used to play, had a five-octave range which was one more than the usual. The UK division of Lee de Forest’s Phonofilm prepared a short movie of Brown playing this instrument in 1927. A six-octave instrument was also played by Teddy Brown.
Teddy also rose to the limelight for his rotund look, close to 400 lbs (180 kgs) in weight, and he was usually compared to Paul Whiteman, another rotund band leader of the same period. At times, he was known as “The Great Xylophonist”, considering his weight.
Apart from the xylophone, Teddy Brown also used to play the other percussion instruments quite well, apart from the tenor saxophone. Brown also whistled melodies while playing instruments, and his act also has comic pounding. His rapid-fire style, playing on fast-paced tunes, became an early influence on percussionist and bandleader Spike Jones, who started his own career after a decade.
When Teddy Brown’s amazing instrumental skills started spreading over the United Kingdom, he was featured in the 1930 early sound feature-length film named “Elstree Calling” in which a young Alfred Hitchcock served as co-director.
Elstree was the film and radio studio complex where a number of popular movies and radio shows were produced during the initial days of British media entertainment. Many types of popular older musical and comedy vaudeville acts and new talent appeared in each of the two movies.
He then appeared in the movie which was really splendid, where he plays the xylophone with superbly fast precision, with the use of just one hand at a time, and behind his back sometimes.
Teddy Brown played a “continuous run of notes right down the full length of the instrument while simultaneously spinning his entire body around through 360 degrees… so swiftly and effortlessly that it is difficult to see how it is done, although repeated [film] viewings reveal that he achieves the continuity of playing by swapping from his right hand to his left and back to his right while spinning”.
In 1931, he played xylophone on the radio, in movies as well as on stage multiple times. His look was stylish but stumpy, yet he was active, and whilst performing, he also used to dance over the xylophone quite often.
In the same year, Teddy Brown appeared in the Royal Variety Performance and he was also connected with The Crazy Gang and used to be the subject of their jokes quite often.
Teddy Brown became a member of the British Grand Order of Water Rats and in 1946, he became King Rat.
The tenure of Teddy Brown as King Rat was cut short since he succumbed to death after he suffered a heart attack in 1946 in his hotel room in Birmingham at the age of 45 after he appeared in a concert at the Wolverhampton Hippodrome.
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