A singer and demon guitarist whose raucous blend of country and rock & roll helped make him a successful crossover act, Junior Brown was born in 1953 and raised in the backwoods of Kirksville, IN. He first learned to play the piano from his pianist father, and was exposed to country through radio and TV, becoming a fan of Ernest Tubb's music and television program. He became a professional musician at the tail end of the '60s, while still in his teens.
After honing his guitar skills in relative anonymity throughout the '70s, Brown became an instructor at the Hank Thompson School of Country Music, an affiliate of Rogers State College in Oklahoma. There, while teaching under the auspices of steel guitar legend Leon McAuliffe, a onetime member of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Brown met "the lovely Miss Tanya Rae," a student whom he would later marry in 1988 and who eventually joined his band as a rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist. At the same time, a dream prompted him to set about creating an instrument fusing a six-string guitar with its steel counterpart. After contacting guitar maker Michael Stevens, in 1985 he developed the "guit-steel," a double-necked guitar combining the standard instrument with the steel.