Chuck Brown

Charles Louis Brown, born August 22, 1936 and died May 16, 2012. He was an American singer, guitarist, bandleader, and musician who earned the nickname “The Godfather Of Go-Go”. Go-go is a subgenre in funk music that was developed in the Washington metropolitan area during the mid-1970s. Although there are many theories about the musical origins, classifications, and influences of Brown, it is widely believed that Brown was the driving force behind the creation go-go music. Brown was born in Gaston, North Carolina on August 22, 1936. Brown’s mother Lyla Brown was a housekeeper and his father, Albert Louis Moody was a United States Marine. Brown was raised in poverty by his father. Chuck Brown moved to Washington, D.C., in 1942 at the age of six. He began living on the streets when he was 15. Brown did not finish high school. Instead, he quit school to work odd jobs and even shine shoes to make money. Brown was convicted in 1950 of murder and sentenced to eight years imprisonment at Lorton Correctional Complex. The case was initially tried for aggravated assault. However, after the death of the victim, it was elevated to murder. Brown claimed that he acted in self-defense. He traded cigarettes for a guitar while in prison. This was the beginning of his love for the instrument. Brown served his sentence and moved back to Washington, D.C., where he worked as a truck driver, bricklayer, and sparring partner in multiple boxing gyms. Brown began to perform at local parties, but his probation officer prohibited him from performing at places that served alcohol. Brown began his musical career in the 1960s, playing guitar with Jerry Butler and the Earls of Rhythm. He joined Los Latinos in 1965. He was still performing and well-known in Washington, D.C., at the time of his passing. Brown’s first hits included “We Need Some Money”, and “Bustin’ Loose”. The Washington Nationals baseball team adopted “Bustin’ Loose” as their home run celebration song. Nelly interpolated it for his 2002 number 1 hit “Hot in Herre”. Brown recorded go-go covers for early blues and jazz songs such as “Go-Go Swing”, Duke Ellington’s” “It Don’t Matter if Ain’t Got That Swing”, Johnny Mercer’s’ “Midnight Sun”, Louis Jordan’s’ “Run Joe”, T-Bone Walker’s’ “Stormy Monday”. Other go-go bands he influenced were the Soul Rebels Brass Band and Big G and The Backyard Band and Junk Yard Band and Junk Yard Band, Rare Essence and Experience Unlimited (EU), Little Benny and the Masters and Trouble Funk. The drum beat is used in many other tracks, including the song “Ashley’s Roachclip”, from Brown’s 1974 album Salt of the Earth [9]. He performed the theme music for Fox’s sitcom The Sinbad Show in the mid-1990s. It aired later on The Family Channel, and Disney Channel. He was featured in TV advertisements for the Washington Post, as well as other Washington, D.C., companies. The D.C. Lottery’s Rolling Cash 5 ad campaign featured Chuck Brown singing “The Party Roll”, his 2007 song, in front of various D.C. landmarks like Ben’s Chili Bowl. Brown was a blonde Gibson ES-335. Brown, 75, died Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital from multiple organ failure including heart failure. He had cancelled and postponed shows several weeks before his death due to pneumonia. His burial was at Trinity Memorial Gardens, Waldorf, Maryland. “Chuck [Brown] looked like the Washington Monument. He was Ben’s Chili Bowl. He was the big chair. He was everything. Chuck Brown was Washington, D.C. Donnie Simpson, Washington, D.C. radio personality and television personality. Brown was known as the “Godfather” of Go-Go and was a legend in Washington, D.C. Darryl Brooks, who was a local promoter, said that Chuck Brown was “a symbol of D.C. manhood back in the day because of the authority he spoke with.” He spoke in a way that black men could understand. Andre Johnson, leader of the go/go band Rare Essence said that Chuck Brown had “influenced generations of people”–not just one, but several generations of musicians. Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray stated that Brown was “Gogo’s creator” and, undoubtedly, the most famous artist. Slick Rick, Rare Essence, and Soul Rebels Brass Band performed a tribute concert at Washington DC’s historic Howard Theatre. The theatre reopened in April 2012. Chuck Brown was a former member

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