Go-go pioneer Chuck Brown
Bandleader ~ Songwriter

Chuck Brown

August 28, 1936, Washington D.C. ~ May 16, 2012, Baltimore, MD

Brown got his start playing with local D.C. jazz and soul bands in the ’60s, finally scoring a massive funk hit with Bustin’ Loose in 1979. (Nelly interpolated it on Hot In Herre.) But his real impact was local, where his loose, freewheeling, conga-based form of funk birthed an entire genre. For a long time, go-go remained more popular than rap in D.C., its weird pocket-universe local appeal never reaching far outside of the city’s boundaries. Hundreds of go-go bands followed Chuck Brown And The Soul Searchers, and Brown remained a local legend in the city in its environs, gigging heavily and steadily to huge crowds. ~ Stereogum: Chuck Brown Obituary ~ May 16, 2012 © Stereogum

A posthumous album, Beautiful Life, was issued in 2014 with appearances from Faith Evans, Raheem DeVaughn, Wale, and go-go stalwarts Sugar Bear (of E.U.) and Ms. Yendy. ~ Allmusic: Chuck Brown ~ retrieved February 4, 2016 © Allmusic

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August 28, 2010 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (4) Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg, California Gurls ~ #2 (2) Taio Cruz, Dynamite ~ #1 (1) Eminem featuring Rihanna, Love The Way You Lie


Developed his commanding brand of funk in the mid-1970s to compete with the dominance of disco. Like a DJ blending records, Mr. Brown used nonstop percussion to stitch songs together and keep the crowd on the dance floor, resulting in marathon performances that went deep into the night. Mr. Brown said the style got its name because “the music just goes and goes.” In addition to being go-go’s principal architect, Mr. Brown remained the genre’s most charismatic figure. On stage, his spirited call-and-response routines became a hallmark of the music, reinforcing a sense of community that allowed the scene to thrive. As go-go became a point of pride for black Washingtonians, Mr. Brown became one of the city’s most recognizable figures. ~ Washington Post: Chuck Brown Obituary ~ May 16, 2012 © The Washington Post

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