Friday, February 20, 2004

B. Brownfield musician for WLW shows

Pianist, 82, was also educator

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FORT WRIGHT - Pianist Bruce O. Brownfield Sr. toured the country with singer Vic Damone before homesickness prompted him to return to Northern Kentucky.

He became a staff musician with WLW, providing music for the Ruth Lyons' Morning Matinee, the Ruby Wright Show and, finally, the Paul Dixon Show.

He led the Bruce Brownfield Orchestra five days a week for 20 years on the popular daytime TV show.

Mr. Brownfield died Tuesday at Deaconess Hospital. The Fort Wright resident was 82.

While "music was his being," according to his daughter Dinah Martin of Lakeside Park, Mr. Brownfield was also a dedicated family man who helped charitable organizations.

He was the son of Harvey Brownfield, a renowned Cincinnati accordionist and vaudevillian. By the time Mr. Brownfield began studying at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, he was already playing professionally himself.

Hoping to make it big, he traveled to New York with the Dell Staton Trio, which won the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts competition. Afterward, CBS hired Brownfield as a staff musician.

A year later, he was on the road with Damone.

But Mr. Brownfield became weary of touring and returned to Fort Wright.

After the Paul Dixon Show ended, he continued to perform with the Bruce Brownfield Trio at dances, weddings, receptions and parties. He also became assistant to David Lusk, superintendent of Covington Schools.

He also taught music at Northern Kentucky University for about 15 years.

Mr. Brownfield was a World War II Navy pilot and a member of Colonel Clay Lodge No. 159, F&AM Masonic Lodge and the American Federation of Musicians Local No. 1.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife, Millie Edmonds Brownfield; sons, Bruce O. Brownfield Jr. of Symmes Township and Steve A. Brownfield of Crescent Springs; and seven grandchildren.

Visitation is 9:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by the service at St. Agnes Church, 1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright. Entombment is at Highland Cemetery Mausoleum in Fort Mitchell.


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