“Life & Larry Brown” is a documentary short film by Scott D. Rosenbaum, chronicling the tragedy and triumphs of Larry Brown. Brown was born in 1953 in Forsyth, Georgia, where he lived in his grandparent’s sharecropper shack along with 15 other children. At the time, this was one of the most racist places in America. The South was steeped in the nearly century-old statutes of the Jim Crow laws.
As a child, Larry was tormented and tortured by a group of white men in town. He was tied to a tree, used as target practice and ultimately shot in the face. By the age of 13 he moved north to Long Island. New York was a completely alien world to the poor young man from the Deep South. He never successfully acclimated and had frequent run-ins with the law. At the age of 29 he got into a physical confrontation which led to the death of his employer. Larry was subsequently sentenced to 33 1/3 years to life and began serving his sentence in 1985.
Throughout his incarceration, music was his salvation. For 34 years he wrote, played and sang the blues. Over the course of his sentence he weathered seven different prisons and five parole denials. The singer was eventually released from prison in 2018. For two short years he enjoyed freedom and was able to share his music. Tragically, on April 20th, 2020, Larry Brown passed away from complications due to the novel coronavirus. He was 66.
“Judgement Day” is a song written by Larry Brown while incarcerated in the Attica Correctional Facility in Western New York. It is a heart wrenching ode to the notion that he and his mother would be reunited in the afterlife. Red Hawk Films has partnered with long time collaborator Fabrizio Grossi to record the song with an all star lineup. Among others, the band includes; Ty Taylor (Vintage Trouble), Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction) and Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp, John Fogerty, Eric Clapton). All of the proceeds from the recording are being donated to The Southern Poverty Law Center in Larry’s name, to help further the fight against systemic racism and disenfranchisement.
Watch the official “Judgement Day” music video, below. You can also hear the song on the Deep Indie Dive playlist. The movie “Life & Larry Brown” is currently contending for the 2021 Academy Awards Best Documentary Short Subject. Follow the links below for more information about the film, the music and the man.