Bringing The World Home To You

© 2024 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

From An Elvis House Band To Reba And Lionel Richie, The Life Of Producer Tony Brown:


Tony Brown grew up in Walkertown, North Carolina in a home with no indoor plumbing and no television. His parents boiled water in a kettle to use for their baths, and the kids were not allowed to attend sporting events or movies.

What Brown’s family did have was each other. His evangelist father may have been strict, but Brown never remembers feeling poor or less than anyone else. His family spent their days and nights serving God. If they were not in church, they were out knocking on doors preaching the gospel or on tour as the Brown Family Singers. Brown sang background harmony for the family group until his father discovered Brown could dazzle crowds with his piano playing. These skills would shape the man who would go on to produce 37 number one singles for George Strait. Brown joins host Frank Stasio to tell his rags-to-riches story, which includes his time playing in Elvis Presley’s house band; and how discovering Alabama changed his status.

In his book, “Elvis, Strait, to Jesus: An Iconic Producer's Journey with Legends of Rock 'n' Roll, Country, and Gospel Music” (Hatchett Book Group/2018), Brown shares his personal struggles and triumphs: the fall that nearly killed him, finding sobriety and photos from the many influencers who helped build his legacy. Brown will also share his hope for the future of country music. His latest work is with the young artist EmiSunshine.


Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Related Content