Les was born in March of 1912 and raised in Tower City, Pennsylvania, the son of R.W. Brown, a baker and musician. "My father’s love was music," said Les, during an interview conducted in April of 1996, "but he was a baker so we could eat." R.W.’s instrument of choice was the trombone, but with his three brothers he played soprano sax in a sax quartet that performed the most popular music of the day, the marches written by John Phillips Sousa. And since Sousa was known as the "March King," R.W. Brown earned the sobriquet, "March Prince."