It was George Harrison who was Joe [Brown]’s biggest fan and after he sang Joe’s big hit Pictures of You on the Beatles’ first radio broadcast, the two became close friends right up until George’s death in 2001. ”George used to do my songs in his set,” remembers Joe. “When I moved to Henley on Thames near where George lived, he phoned me up and said ‘I hear you’re my new neighbour - you better bring your guitar around’. About two or three times a week we would sit around and play the ukuleles or guitars. He was a fantastic man and a great man and I miss him very much.” It was a sad irony then when Joe won a brand new world-wide audience with his show-stopping appearance at ‘The Concert For George’, staged at London’s Royal Albert Hall in tribute to the former Beatle.
Joe was asked by George’s wife Olivia Harrison and Eric Clapton to sing ‘Here Comes The Sun”, ‘That’s The Way It Goes’ and to close the show with ‘I’ll See You In My Dreams’, a favourite song of George’s. Joe’s poignant rendition of the 1920s standard brought the house down and today is credited for almost single-handedly reviving interest in the ukulele.
"I did have some idea of the impact it would have because we had been closing our shows with it and George would come and see our shows and he loved that song. Olivia asked me if I’d close the show with it and it was a bit nerve racking after all that rock n roll to get up there with a little bit of wood an no microphone but something like that at the end of a boisterous rock n roll gig had a real effect.
"They used to sing that song when I was a kid growing up in the pub and it’s been with me for a long time. I get loads of letters and requests to play it and people are always saying ‘oh we played that at my granddad’s funeral’ and so they should because it is a lovely little song."
- SouthPortVisiter (2014)