WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Chuck Brown, 'Godfather Of Go-Go,' Dead At 75

Play associated audio

Chuck Brown, guitarist, singer and D.C. music legend often dubbed "The Godfather of Go-Go," has died.


Chuck Brown performs a Tiny Desk Concert.

The Washington Post confirmed last week that the musician, a native of Washington D.C., had been admitted to John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore with pneumonia. Brown's manager, Tom Goldfogle, told NPR that Brown died Wednesday of "multiorgan failure from sepsis."

Chuck Brown’s biggest hit — Bustin' Loose — hit No. 1 on the R&B charts in 1978 and peaked at No. 34 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It introduced the nation to D.C.’s unique brand of funk, known as "go-go." The song has lately been adopted by the Washington Nationals as their home run celebration song.

In an interview with the National Visionary Leadership Project, Brown explained the evolution of go-go music: "We’re doing top 40, then break-down and do the percussion. When you break down and do the percussion and add those congas and those timbalas – that los latino flavor — everybody started getting into it. The idea came to me when Smokey Robinson had that song called 'Going To A Go-Go,' that gave me an idea to call this particular kind of music go-go, because it just keeps going and going and going."

Go-go is a genre best experienced in person, and Brown continued to deliver live shows for fans into this year. He was forced to cancel or postpone several recent shows after complaining of arthritis pain. He was treated for a blood clot, and contracted pneumonia after having it removed.

Brown was 75 years old.

NPR

La. Family Celebrates Son's 2nd Birthday With Personal Injury Lawyer-Themed Party

When she was planning a birthday party for her 2-year-old son earlier this year, L'erin Dobra of Prairieville, La., had to choose a theme. But luckily her son had already begun giving her hints. He was fixated with a particular commercial for a personal injury law firm, featuring Morris Bart, who has been the pitchman since the 1980s. The party even included a cake with Bart's picture on it.
NPR

Pesticide Drift Threatens Organic Farms

Conventional farmers use millions of pounds of pesticides each year to protect crops from weeds and insects. When those chemicals drift to neighboring property, they can ruin crops on organic farms.
NPR

Planned Parenthood Controversy Raises Questions About Fetal Tissue Research

A series of sting videos targeting Planned Parenthood is raising questions about the field of fetal tissue research. Companies who buy and sell such tissue defend their work.
NPR

Letting Go Of The Wheel: How Google Is Easing People Into Self-Driving Cars

Google has begun testing a new self-driving car this summer that is designed to work without a steering wheel. But as the Planet Money team reports, the company's biggest challenge may be convincing Americans to hop inside.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.