Clifford was killed in a car crash in 1956 at the age of 26.
More Jazzbo fun: Lee Morgan, 20 at the time of this recording, was shot and killed by his common-law wife in 1972 at the age of 34; piano player Bobby Timmons died of cirrhosis at the age of 38.
Art Blakey lived much longer. I saw him at Denver's semi-famous jazz club El Chapultepec a year or so before he died, at close to 80. Little white-haired guy with a gigantic barrel chest. We even talked for a minute after the jam, but it was somewhat disjointed because he was much more interested in conversing with the young ladies who clustered around to flirt and giggle. I mean, I was flirting and giggling too, but, get real. I think he bummed a couple of cigarettes from me.
Update: Here's the only video I found of Clifford, an appearance on Soupy Sales' Detroit variety show in 1954. The sound is terrible, but the confluence of Soupy Sales and Clifford Brown is bizzare enough to warrant posting:
I remember Soupy from his local (New York) kiddie show. Turns out he had a career arc remarkably like Krusty the Clown's.
Update: In comments Doctor Bombay mentions this semi-famous Soupy Sales incident (as wikipedia tells it):
On New Year's Day 1965, Soupy, miffed at having to work on the holiday, ended his live broadcast by encouraging his young viewers to tiptoe into their still-sleeping parents' bedrooms and remove those "funny green pieces of paper" from their pants and pocketbooks. "Put them in an envelope and mail them to me," Soupy instructed the children. "And you know what I'm going to send you? A post card from Puerto Rico!" (followed by his getting hit with a pie) In his 2001 autobiography Soupy Sez! My Life and Zany Times, Soupy admits it is true. He was suspended by the station for two weeks for encouraging children to steal.A postcard from Puerto Rico. That's pretty funny.