Chuck Brown RIP: D.C. has Lost its President

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While many are mourning the loss of Donna Summer today,  a lesser known artist is not getting much attention outside of Washington D.C.

Chuck Brown, known as the Godfather of Go-Go, immortalised on the classic Go Go Crankin’ lp from the mid-1980s, died Wednesday at the age of 75.  Along with the band Trouble Funk,  Go Go music started in Washington, D.C. during  the 70s and reached its peak of popularity in the early-mid 80s.  Chuck Brown and The Soul Searchers had classic songs like “We Need Some Money” (KCRW played that during fundraisers back in the day when I was Music Director).   Another popular Brown song was “Eye Candy”.  The hit I remember best is “I Feel Like Bustin’ Loose”.  I never saw the film with Richard Pryor and Cicely Tyson of the same name that featured the song, but certainly that brought the go go sound to a bigger audience.  The song “Bustin’ Loose”  has proved its longevity:  itstill feels very contemporary and keeps bodies moving on the dance floor.

Chuck Brown and Go Go Music remained pretty regional, and the zenith of its popularity always lay in the D.C. area.

“Chuck Brown made go-go to D.C. like jazz to New Orleans,” said D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (no relation), 41, who grew up watching the musician perform. “He put it on the map. I still have live Memorex tapes from ’83, ’84, ’85.” (Washington Post Thursday, May 17th, 2012.)

Chuck Brown, RIP.   If you’re in D.C, you might see the street named after him: