18 May 2012

Friday Top 5

For those who haven't heard, DC musical legend Chuck Brown, the Godfather of Go Go, passed this Wednesday night, May 16.

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:
  1. 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. 
  2. 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").
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
To quote my friend Sherry, if you listen close, you can hear the angels chanting "Wind Me Up, Chuck!"




Rest easy, Chuck. And thanks for everything.

Image credit: Soul Bounce

2 comments:

Stefanie Reeves said...

Thank you Elizabeth for dedicating your Top 5 to Chuck. Run Joe was my favorite CB song. One of my favorite memories of high school.

Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CAE said...

Of all the recent musician deaths, this one definitely hit me the hardest. EU and Rare Essence and Trouble Funk and Wale are all great, don't get me wrong, but none of them can take The Originator's place.