Harold Ray Brown (Long Beach, California, 1947) is co-founder, drummer and percussionist of the band War. Harold had a number of roles over the years, acting as drummer, percussion, vocalist and band leader.
Harold Brown is the oldest of six children, and the only one in his family to pursue music. Beginning with the congas, Brown took up drums in junior high. He turned down a full scholarship to Valparaiso University in 1964 in order to pursue music.
Harold Brown was rooted in the very beginnings of War. In 1962, he met Howard E. Scott at the Cozy Lounge in Long Beach, California. They were fifteen years old at the time, and were hired to play in a band for a casual gig.
Harold Brown started a band called the Creators in 1963 in Long Beach, playing for High School sock hops and car shows. Then in 1967, toward the end of the Vietnam war, he and Howard Scott re-started the band with a new name, Night Shift. In February of 1969, while playing a show at the Rag Doll Night Club in North Hollywood, California Eric Burdon and Lee Oskar jammed with the Night Shift. They continuedplaying under a new band name: War.
Harold Brown left the band to attend college in 1983, majoring in computer science, with a minor in music. He then moved to New Orleans in 1986. In 2001, Brown went back to school to pursue his life-long hobby; he is now a historian and professional tour guide in New Orleans, and has recently formed a new band called the Lowrider Band featuring three other original members of War: Howard E. Scott, Morris “BB” Dickerson, and Lee Oskar.