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NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Chuck Brown

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October 10, 2012


D.C.'s own "Godfather of Go-go" Chuck Brown performs for NPR Music.

Set List:

1. "Senorita"
2. "Chuck Baby"
3. "Wind Me Up" / "Bustin' Loose"
4. "Run Joe" / "It Don't Mean a Thing"

Charles Louis Brown, born into poverty in Gaston, North Carolina in 1936, moved to Washington D.C. with his family in 1942 where he quit school and began living on the streets working odd jobs.

It was while serving an eight year sentence at the Lorton Correctional Complex on a murder conviction in the 1950s that he first discovered his love for guitar.

Affectionately referred to as the "Godfather of Go-go", Brown was responsible for developing the funk dance oriented offshoot that came to be known as Go-go in Washington D.C. during the late 1970s.

Brown stated that the genre got its name because "the music just goes and goes."

He gained wide attention with his 1979 hit "Bustin' Loose" becoming an enormously influential figure of the Washington D.C. music scene as leader of his band the "Soul Searchers."

Renowned for playing live shows that could last three hours (or more) Brown's other celebrated songs include "We Need Some Money" and "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Don't Got That Go-Go Swing)", in addition to his 2007 comeback single "Block Party" though "Bustin' Loose" remains his most popular recording.

Although he performances were less frequent during his final years, he continued to play gigs making the affirmation n 2006; "I'm not retired because I'm not tired. I'm still getting hired, and I'm still inspired."

"As long as I can walk up on that stage, I want to make people happy. I want to make people dance."

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