- Air Force cadets ‘revolt’ after officials remove biblical verse from whiteboard
- Rep. Lee: Paul Ryan out of touch with urban Americans
- House votes down resolution to force Issa to apologize
- Kremlin blocks opposition websites; Kasparov fears Putin plans ‘something drastic’
- Saving trees? EPA wastes $1.5 million storing unneeded pamphlets in warehouse
- Scott Brown Senate bid in New Hampshire may launch soon
- Jeffrey Corzine, son of ex-N.J. governor, dead at 31
- Australian surfing magazine sorry for calling indigenous surfer ‘apeish’
- Records: Man in Fla. theater shooting also was texting
- The Putin problem: U.S. needs Russian rockets for spy satellites
Fans, dignitaries laud go-go icon Brown at memorial
More than 9,000 Chuck Brown fans flocked to the Washington Convention Center for the musician’s memorial service Thursday to pay tribute to the man whose music has provided the District a party soundtrack for decades.
Some of the majority black crowd wore slick suits or church hats while others donned shorts and T-shirts emblazoned with Brown’s image and his honorific title - the godfather of go-go. Many said they took off work in order to attend the nearly four-hour-long service, which featured performances by local musicians and eulogies by the District’s top politicians.
“I told them I’m taking off for the godfather! That’s all they need to know,” Mr. Hart said.
Brown, who pioneered the funk-derived music genre called go-go, died May 16 at age 75 after falling ill in March.
Thursday’s service felt like a family reunion staged at a concert as old friends reunited and hugged in the crowd and others rose from their chairs to dance and cheer as musicians took to the stage to perform either songs composed by Brown or songs infused with a go-go beat.
Outside the massive downtown convention center, which had prepared for a crowd as large as 14,500, vendors hawked Chuck Brown posters, freshly embroidered T-shirts, and commemorative badges. Inside, longtime fans reminisced fondly over the memories Brown’s music evoked.
“In the beginning it was more about him because he had a sense of togetherness. Wherever he was, there was no fighting. It was just love,” Ms. Ragland said.
Bo Sampson, a D.C. promoter, recalled how he and Mr. Hart used to write their names on pieces of paper and pass them up to the stage at Brown’s show in order to hear him read them aloud on stage and weave them into his songs.
“It was like a roll call,” Mr. Sampson said. “We’d be like ‘Wow, he said my name’ and then he’d make a rhyme to go with it.”
D.C. politicians proposed various tributes to Brown at the service. Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced that a park would be named in Brown’s honor while Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton declared Brown’s birthday, Aug. 22, to be national Chuck Brown Day.
“America knew the nation’s capital but could not tell the difference between official Washington and hometown D.C. Then came the godfather, ‘Bustin’ Loose,’ and he busted D.C. loose, too,” Ms. Norton said, making mention of Brown’s 1978 hit.
Not to be outdone, D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown proposed the creation of a go-go hall of fame.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Background checks stalled as firefighter arrests mount
- Independent Catania files paperwork for D.C. mayoral bid
- Gray comes out fighting accusations in fund scheme
- Gray holds cash advantage in D.C. mayor's race
- D.C. elections board gives green light to marijuana legalization initiative
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
- F-35 secrets now showing up in Chinas stealth fighter
- FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
- USS Kidd sent to Indian Ocean after 'indication' of Malaysian jet crash
- College group's diversity event canceled after excluding white people
- Justice Department refuses info on hundreds of prosecutor misconduct cases
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- MILLER: Law enforcement realizes good people with guns deter crime
- CURL: Calm down, conservatives: Obama's 'Two Ferns' bit was brilliant
- PRUDEN: Sink sank own campaign in Florida special election
- EDITORIAL: Lois Lerner's dilemma
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again