[Plaque on sculpture along 20th Street]A Celebration of Chuck Brown
The fundamental force behind Go-Go music — Using music, story-telling, and rhythm to help create a culture of inclusion and participation in Washington DC Neighborhoods.
[Plaque for the sculpture]
'Wind Me Up Chuck!'
Jackie L. Braitman
Braitman Design Studio
Commissioned and original owned by the
D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities
DC Creates Public Art Program
Bust: John Shore
Full Figure: Kyle Gustafson
Face on Overlay: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
[Main memorial, counterclockwise from north side of memorial]
Charles Louis Brown was born on August 22, 1936, in Gaston, North Carolina to Lila Louise Taylor and Albert Louis Moody. Brown lived in poverty throughout much of his childhood.
Brown moved to Washington, D.C. for the first time in 1942. He was a shoe shine boy in the alleyway next to the historic Howard Theatre.
While serving time at Lorton, Brown traded cigarettes for a home made guitar,
which launched his music and love for the instrument.
Brown joined the band Los Latinos, inspiring the focus on the percussion instruments he would later weave into Go-Go.
Brown's composition, "Bustin' Loose," recorded on the Source/MCA label, climbed to the #1 spot on the Billboard charts. He appeared on Soul Train and toured the United States.
A prolific period that took Chuck Brown and Go-Go music on tour around the world with the release of Go-Go Swing and a string of other hits.
"The Godfather of Go-Go"
Brown explored his Jazz and Blues roots with a collaboration with vocalist with Eva Cassidy and a follow-up album of standards dedicated to her memory.
Brown delivered 5 Billboard charting releases. The District of Columbia renamed a section of 7th Street, NW, "Chuck Brown Way" in honor of the Godfather of Go-Go.
The National Symphony Orchestra paid tribute to Chuck Brown with 2 commissioned works of orchestral arrangements and a joint performance on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
Brown received his first Grammy nomination for best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocals for his song "Love."
Chuck Brown died on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, surrounded by
his loving family: his wife Jocelyn and their children Takesa (KK), Bill, Nekos and Wiley.
The renowned guitarist, singer and music innovator was the fundamental force behind the creation of Go-Go music, which became the "Signature sound" of Washington, D.C. and the only form of expressive culture to originate in the District of Columbia.
A generous and deeply humble man, Chuck Brown shared his genuine, infectious, upbeat love of life with everyone he met, and was devoted to his fans and the city of Washington, D.C.
"Whatever you do, big or small, do it well, or don't do it at all" —Chuck Brown
Chuck Brown's Discography
1972: We the People (as The Soul Searchers)
1974: Salt of the Earth (as the Soul Searchers)
1978: Bustin' Loose
1980: Funk Express
1984: We Need Some Money (12")
1985: Sho Ya Right (Back It On UP), Be-Bumpin'-Fresh (12")
1986: Run Joe, Family Affair, Stormy Monday (12")
1986: Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers Live (Go-Go Swing)
1987: Day-O (12")
1988: That'll Work (2001) (12")
Circa 1988: Live PA Vol. 1
Circa 1989: Trust Me: Live PA Vol. 2
1990: Wind Me up Chuck: Live PA Vol. 3
1990: 90's Goin' hard
1991: This Is a Journey into Time (Live)
1992: The Other Side — with Eva Cassidy
1995: Hah Man
1999: The Spirit of Christmas
2001: Your Game...Live at the 9:30 Club Washington, DC
2002: Put Your Hands Up! The Tribute Concert to Chuck Brown
2005: The Best of Chuck Brown
2007: We're About the Business
2010: We Got This
2014: Beautiful Life