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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 was born in Gaston, North Carolina in 1936. As a young adult, he moved to Washington D.C., quit school, and began living on the streets and working odd jobs.

It was while serving an eight year sentence 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 dance-oriented offshoot of funk that took hold in D.C. in the late '70s.

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 in the Washington D.C. music scene.

Renowned for playing live shows that could last three hour -- or more -- Brown's other celebrated songs include "We Need Some Money", "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Don't Got That Go-Go Swing)", and "Block Party".

Although his performances were less frequent during his final years, Brown continued to play perform, claiming, "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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