While MTV has launched many a career, it could be argued that Julie Brown (the white one, as she called herself) was the networkÁ¢€â„¢s first home-grown superstar. By the time MTV was thru with her (or she was thru with MTV), Brown was a triple threat Á¢€” a recording artist, television personality and movie headliner.

Oh, Julie!

Julie Brown started out with some bit parts on sitcoms and movies in the early Á¢€Ëœ80s, but found her true calling when her novelty song Á¢€Å“The Homecoming QueenÁ¢€â„¢s Got a GunÁ¢€ hit radio morning shows nationwide in 1985. The song was comedy genius and features one of my favorite lyrics ever – “The cops fired a warning shot that blew her off the float.” A full-length LP, Á¢€Å“Goddess In ProgressÁ¢€ followed and MTV picked up the video for the single. Thus, a relationship was born.

Julie began making frequent appearances on the channel, becoming a sort of defacto VJ, cracking everyone up with her commentary on the bands and biting the corporate hand that fed her. MTV responded by giving her an entire half-hour, the classic Á¢€Å“Just Say Julie,Á¢€ where she predated Á¢€Å“Beavis & ButtheadÁ¢€ by inserting herself and her caustic comments into horrible videos by the likes of Rod Stewart (Á¢€Å“Oh, I want him. I want him badly,Á¢€ sheÁ¢€â„¢d faux moan).


Riding this momentum, Julie signed to Warner Brothers for her major-label debut album Á¢€Å“Trapped In The Body of a White GirlÁ¢€ (Á¢€Å“GoddessÁ¢€ was on then-indie Rhino). Paired with some stellar talent (hitmakers Steinberg & Kelly co-wrote the single Á¢€Å“Girl Fight TonightÁ¢€), the album had sort of an identity crisis, where some older songs like Á¢€Å“I Like Á¢€ËœEm Big and StupidÁ¢€ were re-recorded in all their novelty glory, and newer songs were not quite as jokey and almost half-serious sounding without the accompanying video (like the title track). The result was a watered-down version of Julie that didnÁ¢€â„¢t chart.

The album has some bright spots, though, especially Á¢€Å“Girl Fight TonightÁ¢€ with its girl group trappings and hilarious delivery (Á¢€Å“Shoo-be-do-bop and a shoo-bop-a run awayÁ¢€). ItÁ¢€â„¢s long out of print, but you can buy copies directly from Julie at her website.

Julie has continued acting, most notably on the TV series Á¢€Å“CluelessÁ¢€ and her soap parody Á¢€Å“Strip MallÁ¢€ which sadly, Comedy Central cancelled without resolving the second season cliffhanger (did Tami Á¢€” pronounced Tuh-ME Á¢€” survive being tossed out of an airplane?). This weekend, Julie will be the emcee for the Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade, as well as performing at the festival Saturday night.

Download Á¢€Å“Girl Fight TonightÁ¢€.
Download Á¢€Å“I Like Á¢€ËœEm Big & StupidÁ¢€.

Oh, and look at thatÁ¢€¦.hereÁ¢€â„¢s the video for
Á¢€Å“Trapped In The Body of a White GirlÁ¢€!

If anyone has full episodes of Á¢€Å“Just Say Julie,Á¢€ please e-mail me!

Neither single charted.
Á¢€Å“Goddess In ProgressÁ¢€ peaked at #168 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart.

About the Author

John C. Hughes

John C. Hughes began his Lost in the ’80s blog in 2005 and is now proud to be a member of the Popdose family, where he’s introduced LIT80s’s companions, the obviously named Lost in the ’70s and Lost in the ’90s, alongside the slightly more originally named Why You Should Like…

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