Lincoln News

Lion - Lincoln Music Performance Major Turns Passion For Music And Sound Into Lifelong Career

Frank Brown at the NJTV Studio
Frank Brown at the NJTV Studio

When Frank Brown Jr. ’89 was a sophomore at Lincoln University, his father Frank Brown Sr., a prominent musician who worked with artist such as the Four Tops, recommended that he find more than one outlet to sustain himself financially upon graduating.

That semester, while performing with the LU Jazz Ensemble for a concert featuring Grover Washington Jr., Brown realized that he had a distinct interest in live audio. For the next two summers Brown interned at PBS affiliate WNET Channel 13 in New York.

His keen ear and talent with audio engineering systems caught the attention of the head of engineering at WNET. After working with WNET production staff for the DuPont Columbia Awards for Journalism, Brown was offered a full time job.

“I received a call during senior year from the operations department offering employment starting May 20, just 13 days after graduation,” Brown recalled.

While at WNET, Brown worked as an audio engineer for the McNeil Lehrer News Hour, The Eleventh Hour with Robert Lypsyte, Charlie Rose, Steve Adubato, and multiple documentaries including the Jim Henson documentary on PBS. Brown also won an Emmy for a documentary about the 1997 mayoral race in New York City called “The City” with Raphael Pi Roman.

In 1996, Brown became self-employed and got re-acquainted with his love of music. He started touring as an audio engineer for hip hop artists such as Zhiggie, Grand Puba, Onyx, SuperCat, Redd Foxx, and Screechie Dan. After seeing his work, R&B artists such as Joe, 3LW, Imajin and Destiny’s Child hired Brown to work on their tours.

When not on tour, Brown worked as audio engineer for his television clients. His client base included CNBC, WNET, MTV, VH1, ESPN, SCI FI, Access Hollywood, Univision and more.

Brown still works as a freelance audio engineer providing daily mixes for PBS affiliate NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and other PBS programs.

“He is the audio czar in the PBS system,” Adubato said jokingly in a recent interview with Brown. “Frank has been taking care of the sound and virtually everything we do in public broadcasting.”

Despite his busy schedule, Brown still finds time for music mixing and production. This year, Brown along with Lincoln alumnus Reggie Parker ’89 produced his second album, “The Renaissance Man”.

This story originally appeared in the Spring 2018 Lion.

By Devin Bonner, Office of Communications and Public Relations