Friday, July 15, 2011

Flashback From My College Days - Queen Bee


DustBunnies, you need to see and hear this woman. Tonya Browne was the lead singer (AKA "Queen Bee") of Queen Bee and the Blue Hornet band, a FANTASTIC blues band from State College, PA - the home of Penn State University. While at PSU, I spent many an evening watching them perform in various bars around town (the Phyrst, the Brickhouse, Cafe 210 West and the Skellar). After weeks of seeing their shows, Tonya made my night by coming up to me during one of their breaks and sitting down at my table. I told her I knew every word to every one of her songs, to which she replied with a giggle "I know, I watch you singing while I'm on stage". LOVE HUH.

After graduation, friends and I would travel to see Queen Bee and the band when they did shows in the Harrisburg area. And Tanya would always come over and sit down and drink a beer with us - just like the old days. After I moved to NYC, a bunch of us went to see them at a club in the Village - and it turned out to be one of the most fun nights I've ever had in my life.

But, sadly, that would be the last time I would ever see Tonya Browne. The band broke up in 1999, and two years later Ms Browne died due to complications from diabetes. She was only 36 years old.

Just LISTEN to this woman - she needs to be heard (and remembered). The first video is (visually) pretty dark and crappy - but the second one is really good and shows Tonya at her finest. And yes, I still know every word...

 

2 comments:

mistress maddie said...

Love it! I heard her music before but never in a bar or club, so I don't know where I saw her. It really is a shame she went before her talent got her off the ground, no clue how huge she may have gotten. And the Chameleon??? Talk about a fricken blast from the past!!!

greggmorrone said...

Very Cool. I used to enjoy her when they played at the Shire in Cape May! I've got one of their old CD's.

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