'Godfather of Go-Go' Chuck Brown Dead at 75

DC's funk pioneer is gone
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2012 5:46 PM CDT
'Godfather of Go-Go' Chuck Brown Dead at 75
In this Jan. 18, 2010, photo, Chuck Brown speaks during a program to celebrate the legacy of the late Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington.   (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

(Newser) – Chuck Brown, who created the "go-go" genre of funk in DC in the 1970s and remained a mainstay of black Washington's culture ever since, has died at age 75, reports the Washington Post. A snippet from the paper's obituary, by Chris Richards:

  • "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.'" Full piece here.

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  • Bustin' Loose: Brown's biggest hit came with the Soul Searchers in 1978. Listen here.
  • Hip-hop's cousin: Natalie Hopkinson of The Root has a tribute that touches on the difference between go-go and hip-hop, which started about the same time but managed to spread nationally. Go-go, on the other hand, "stayed true to time-honored cultural scripts such as live call and response, live instrumentation, as well as its locally rooted fashions, slang, dance, distribution and economic systems. Simply put: Go-go never sold out." The music "gives voice to the communities where it was created and from which profits are taken." Full piece here.
(Read more Chuck Brown stories.)

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