On the heels of Jack Ely‘s passing, we have another loss in the LOUIE Universe.
Errol Brown of the band Hot Chocolate, had liver cancer and passed away at the age of 71 years old at his home in the Bahamas.
Errol Brown, along with Tony Wilson, wrote and sang the song “Brother Louie,” a song that many people have confused with “LOUIE LOUIE.” It was a Top 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart for the band in 1973, and became a bigger hit in the USA when it was covered 6 months later by The Stories (aka Ian Lloyd & the Stories), reaching the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
Errol Brown’s musical career started in 1969 when he and some friends sent their own reggae version of “Give Peace a Chance” to author John Lennon. John loved their version, and signed the band to release their recording on the Beatle-owned Apple Records label.
Mavis Smith, who worked for the Apple Corps press office, came up with the idea of naming this group “The Hot Chocolate Band,” which was later shortened to simply “Hot Chocolate.”
Hot Chocolate later had a stream of hits during the disco era of the 1970’s, including “You Sexy Thing,” “Every 1’s a Winner,” and “”So You Win Again” to name a few. When the band broke up in 1986, Errol Brown pursued a solo career. In 2003, Errol Brown received the MBE; and in 2004, the Ivor Novello Award for his contribution to British music.