Chuck Brown Died – DC, Maryland, Baltimore’s own is the godfather of Go-Go FredericksburgLive brings you an interview from Geoff Leach coast to coast
Chuck Brown just recently passed away and a good friend of mine named Geoff Leach just recently interviewed Chuck. It maybe the last interview that Chuck did. Hear from the man himself about the origins of Go Go.
See more stories from Geoff Leach on iTunes. Coast to coast radio. Sound mixed by Jo Jo Bayliss.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Onstage, October 1, 2005
Born August 22, 1936
Gaston, North Carolina
Origin Washington, D.C.
Died May 16, 2012 (aged 75)
Genres Funk, go-go
Occupations Singer, musician, songwriter, record producer, guitarist
Years active 1960s–2012
Chuck Brown (August 22, 1936 – May 16, 2012) was a guitarist and singer who is affectionately called “the Godfather of Go-go”. Go-go is a subgenre of funk music developed in and around Washington, D.C. in the mid- and late-1970s. While its musical classification, influences, and origins are debated, Brown is regarded as the fundamental force behind the creation of go-go music.
Brown’s musical career began in the 1960s playing guitar with Jerry Butler and The Earls of Rhythm, joining Los Latinos in 1965. At the time of his death he was still performing music today and was well known in the Washington, DC area. Brown’s early hits include “I Need Some Money” and “Bustin’ Loose”. “Bustin’ Loose” has been adopted by the Washington Nationals baseball team as its home run celebration song, and was interpolated by Nelly for his 2002 number one hit “Hot in Herre.” Brown also recorded go-go covers of early jazz and blues songs, such as “Go-Go Swing” Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing If Ain’t Got That Swing”, “Moody’s Mood for Love”, Johnny Mercer’s “Midnight Sun”, Louis Jordan’s “Run Joe”, and T-Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday”.
He influenced other go-go bands such as Big G and The Backyard Band, Rare Essence, Experience Unlimited (EU), Little Benny and the Masters, and Trouble Funk.
The song “Ashley’s Roachclip” from the Soul Searchers’ 1974 album Salt of the Earth contains a famous drum break, sampled countless times in various other tracks.
In the mid-1990s, he performed the theme music of Fox’s sitcom The Sinbad Show which later aired on The Family Channel and Disney Channel.
Since the early 1970s, Brown exclusively played a blonde Gibson ES-335, affectionately referred to as his “Blondie.”
Brown resided in Brandywine, Maryland. He had 2 sons, Wiley and Nekos Brown. Wiley is[when?] a musician and football player at Virginia Tech. His son, Nekos, was a defensive end/linebacker for the Virginia Tech football team. While his son[which?] was in college, Brown scheduled concerts and other appearances around the Hokies home schedule to ensure that he would never miss a game, and became a fixture at Lane Stadium. Following the Virginia Tech massacre, Brown stated in an interview that he was “absolutely devastated” by the tragedy, and cried every day for two weeks. In shows that followed, Brown would pause for a moment in prayer for the victims and their families before beginning his performance, and dedicated several shows to their memory.
Chuck Brown died on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital of multiple organ failure including heart failure or heart problems. He was 75 years old. Several weeks prior to his death, he had postponed and canceled shows due to hospitalization for pneumonia.
Brown was considered a local legend in Washington, D.C., and appeared in television advertisements for the Washington Post and other area companies. The D.C. Lottery’s “Rolling Cash 5″ ad campaign features Chuck Brown singing his 2007 song “The Party Roll” in front of various D.C. city landmarks such as Ben’s Chili Bowl.
Brown was the subject of the cover article in The Washington Post Magazine on October 4, 2009, entitled Chuck Brown’s Long Dance. He received his first Grammy Award nomination in 2010 for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for “Love” (with Jill Scott and Marcus Miller), from the album We Got This.
In 2009, the block of 7th Street in Northwest Washington, DC between Florida Avenue and T Street was renamed “Chuck Brown Way” in his honor.
On September 4, 2011, Brown was honored by the National Symphony Orchestra, as the NSO paid tribute to Legends of Washington Music Labor Day concert – honoring Brown’s music, as well as Duke Ellington and John Philip Sousa – with a free concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol. Brown and his band capped off the evening with a performance.