Brown was married four times. His first marriage was to Velma Warren in 1953, they had three sons together. Over a decade later, the couple had separated and the final divorce decree was issued 1969; they maintained a close friendship that lasted until Brown’s death.
Brown‘s second marriage was to Deidre ‘Deedee’ Jenkins in 1970. They had two daughters together. The couple were separated by 1979, after what his daughter describes as years of domestic abuse, and the final divorce decree was issued on January 10, 1981.
His third marriage was to Adrienne Lois Rodriguez in 1984. It was a contentious marriage that made headlines due to domestic abuse complaints; Rodriguez died in January 1996.
Less than a year after her death, Brown hired Tomi Rae Hynie to be a background singer for his band. They married in 2001.
Brown ‘s personal life was marred by several brushes with the law. At the age of 16, he was convicted of theft and served three years in prison.
In 1978 Brown was arrested for reportedly failing to turn in records from one of his radio stations after the station was forced to file for bankruptcy.
Brown was arrested in 1988, for assault and again in 1988 on drug and weapons charges, and again in 1988, following a high-speed car chase.
He was convicted of carrying an unlicensed pistol and assaulting a police officer, along with various drug-related and driving offenses.
Although he was sentenced to six years in prison, he was eventually released on parole in February after serving two years of his sentence.
For the remainder of his life, Brown was repeatedly arrested for domestic violence. His third wife had him arrested four times between 1987 and 1995 on charges of assault.
The song’s lyrics, characterized as biblically chauvinistic, attribute all the works of modern civilization (the car, the train, the boat and the electric light) to the efforts of men, but claim that it all would mean nothing without a woman or a girl.
The song also states that man made toys for the baby boys and girls, and comments about the fact that man makes money to buy from other men.
Before the song’s fade, Brown states that man is lost in his bitterness and in the wilderness. Brown‘s co-writer and onetime girlfriend, Betty Jean Newsome, wrote the lyrics based on her own observations of the relations between the sexes.