I don't recall the first time I heard Go Go, but I'm guessing it was Brown's Bustin' Loose, DC's unofficial city anthem.
Today's Top 5 is for Chuck:
- Brown didn't start out as a musician. He learned to play the guitar while serving a stint at Lorton for an assault that he always maintained was motivated by self-defense.
- Brown not only originated Go Go, he was also a talented blues guitarist and interpreter of jazz standards (see his 1995 album with Eva Cassidy, "The Other Side").
- Brown was only nominated for one Grammy, in 2011, which he did not win (robbed!). He did, however, win a lifetime achievement award from the NEA in 2009.
- Brown was famous for the call-and-response element of his shows. One of the most anticipated sections of every Chuck Brown concert was when he'd call our particular people or neighborhoods. Being in the audience when your neighborhood merited a shout-out from the stage was thrilling.
- The best show I've ever attended (and I've been to a lot of shows in my time) was a double bill of Chuck Brown and PFunk at the 9:30 club. In the entire course of human events, booties have never been shaken as hard as they were that night, before or since.
Rest easy, Chuck. And thanks for everything.
Image credit: Soul Bounce