Chuck Brown, 'Godfather Of Go-Go,' Dead At 75 | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

A Punch Line In The U.S., Christmas Fruitcake Is Big In Calcutta

Seen as indestructible in the West, fruitcakes are indispensable in the bustling Hindu city. Bakers of all faiths have the ovens running round the clock to feed Calcutta's appetite for the cakes.
NPR

Inside The Indiana Megadairy Making Coca-Cola's New Milk

Coca-Cola got a lot of attention in November when it announced it was going into the milk business. In fact, its extra-nutritious milk product was invented by some dairy farmers in Indiana.
NPR

What To Expect In The 2016 Presidential Announcement Season

With Jeb Bush signaling he's likely to run for president in 2016, it's another sign that the presidential announcement season is underway. Here's a look at who has jumped in the race early and what to expect in the coming months.
NPR

2014 Hashtags: #BringBackOurGirls Made Nigerian Schoolgirls All Of 'Ours'

As part of a series on hashtag activism in 2014, Audie Cornish speaks with Obiageli Ezekwesili of the Open Society Foundation. Ezekwesili was one of the early promoters of the hashtag #bringbackourgirls, about schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria in April.

Leave a Comment

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