Music database


Chuck Brown

Chuck Brown

born on 22/8/1934 in Gaston, NC, United States

died on 16/5/2012 in Baltimore, MD, United States

Chuck Brown

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Charles Louis "Chuck" Brown (August 22, 1936 – May 16, 2012) was an American guitarist, bandleader and singer who has garnered the honorific nickname "The Godfather of Go-Go".[1] Go-go is a subgenre of funk music developed in and around the Washington metropolitan area in the mid-1970s. While its musical classification, influences, and origins are debated, Brown is regarded as the fundamental force behind the creation of go-go music.[2][3]

Early life: 1936–1963

Charles Louis Brown was born on August 22, 1936 in Gaston, North Carolina.[4] Brown's mother, Lyla Brown, was a housekeeper, and his father, Albert Louis Moody, was a United States Marine. Brown's father, however, was not present in his life, and Brown lived in poverty.[4][5] When Chuck Brown was six years old, he moved to Washington, D.C. in 1942, and at 15 he started to live on the streets.[6] He did not graduate high school; Brown quit school and decided to perform odd jobs to make money,[7] including shining shoes.[8]

In the 1950s, Brown was convicted of murder and served eight years in Lorton Correctional Complex. At first, the case was tried as aggravated assault; however, it was moved up to murder once the victim died. Brown stated that his actions were in self-defense.[7] In prison, he traded cigarettes for a guitar, which was how his love for the instrument began.[7] When Brown completed his sentence, he moved back to Washington, D.C. and worked as a truck driver, a bricklayer, and a sparring partner at multiple boxing gyms. He also started to perform at parties throughout the area; however, he could not play at venues that served liquor, because his probation officer would not allow it.[7]


Chuck Brown died on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Hospital of multiple organ failure, including heart failure. He was 75 years old. Several weeks prior to his death, he had postponed and cancelled shows due to hospitalisation for pneumonia.[1][9] His interment was at Trinity Memorial Gardens in Waldorf, Maryland.


"Chuck [Brown] was like the Washington Monument. He was like Ben's Chili Bowl. He was the big chair. He was all of that. Chuck Brown was Washington, D.C. [ ...] People feel you when it's genuine, and Chuck was always that."
Donnie Simpson, Washington, D.C. radio and television personality[10]

Brown is called the "Godfather of Go-Go"[4][11] and was considered a local legend in Washington, D.C. Darryl Brooks, a local promoter who worked with Chuck Brown during his career, stated, "He was a symbol of D.C. manhood, back in the day, because of the authority that he spoke with. He just spoke from a perspective that black men could understand."[10] Andre Johnson, the leader of the go-go band Rare Essence, said that Chuck Brown "influenced generations of people—not just one—a few generations of musicians around here."[10] Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said Brown was "Go-go's creator and, arguably, its most legendary artist."[12]

Ricky "Sugarfoot" Wellman, longtime drummer for Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers, died of pancreatic cancer on November 23, 2013 at the age of 57.[13]

Brown is a recipient of a 2005 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the United States' highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.[14]


Studio albums

  • We the People (1972)
  • Salt of the Earth (1974)
  • Bustin' Loose (1979)
  • Funk Express (1980)
  • We Need Some Money (1984)
  • Hah Man (1994)
  • The Other Side (featuring Eva Cassidy) (1995)
  • Go-Go & Gumbo, Satchmo N Soul (1997)
  • Timeless (1998)
  • The Spirit of Christmas (1999)
  • We're About the Business (2007)
  • We Got This (2010)[15]
  • Beautiful Life (2014)

Live albums

  • Go Go Swing Live (1986)
  • Any Other Way to Go? (1987)
  • Live '87 – D.C. Bumpin' Y'all (1987)
  • 90's Goin' Hard (1991)
  • This Is a Journey...Into Time (1993)
  • Your Game...Live at the 9:30 Club (2001)
  • Put Your Hands Up! (2002)

Compilation albums

  • Go-Go Crankin' (1985)
  • Good to Go (1986)
  • Go Go Live at the Capital Centre (1987)
  • The Go Go Posse (1988)
  • Let's Go Go Christmas (1995)
  • Greatest Hits (1998)
  • Best of Chuck Brown (2005)


  1. ^ a b "'Godfather of Go-Go,' Chuck Brown Dies". The Washington Informer. May 16, 2012. Archived from the original on May 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ Smith, Craig (November 2, 2007). "Some More D.C. Flavor: Chuck Wound Me Up". Virginia Law Weekly. University of Virginia. 60 (9). Retrieved November 28, 2012. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c Sisario, Ben (May 18, 2012). "Chuck Brown, Godfather of Go-Go, Dies at 75". The New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2012. 
  5. ^ Richards 2012, p. 1
  6. ^ Baker, Soren (May 24, 2001). "Chuck Brown Proves Go-Go Hasn't Gone-Gone". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d 2012, p. 2
  8. ^ Fusilli, Jim. "The Godfather of Go-Go". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Chuck Brown dies: 'Godfather of Go-Go' passes away at 75". ABC Channel 7. May 16, 2012. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c Richards, Chris (May 16, 2012). "Chuck Brown's Music Impact: Deep Into Washington, and Beyond". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 28, 2012. 
  11. ^ Bogdanov 2003, p. 853
  12. ^ "Chuck Brown Dead: D.C.'s 'Godfather Of Go Go' Dies At 75". The Huffington Post. May 16, 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2012. 
  13. ^ McArdle, Terence; McArdle, Terence (November 28, 2013). "Ricky 'Sugarfoot' Wellman dies; drummer for Chuck Brown, Miles Davis and Carlos Santana". Retrieved April 23, 2017 – via 
  14. ^ "NEA National Heritage Fellowships 2005". National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved 22 October 2017. 
  15. ^ Maza, Erik (June 23, 2011). "Chuck Brown just Keeps on Going". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 


External links

This page was last modified 08.12.2017 23:20:16

This article uses material from the article Chuck Brown from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.