Age don't mean a thing if you are Chuck Brown and still have that go-go swing.
That's the sentiment of D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, who proposed yesterday to name a street after the District's most legendary go-go groove master.
Brown, still going strong in his 70s, responded by singing a few bars outside the council chamber Monday.
"Chuck Brown brought a new form of music that is not only known to the city but it is now known to the nation," Gray (D) said. "He is such a tremendous role model and humble and positive figure. To do this only seems fitting."
The council bill would also name streets after Duke Ellington; poet, novelist and playwright Langston Hughes; and Leonard B. "Bud" Doggett Jr., the parking lot tycoon and D.C. power broker who died this year.
The bill also would send a message to Congress in regard to the city's non-voting status by changing the name of part of South Capitol Street to Taxation Without Representation Street.
Singing "it don't mean a thing if you don't have the go-go swing," Brown said having a street named for him would be special.
"Man, I can't do nothing but cry," Brown said. "I have been home from [jail] for about 50 years. I ain't been in trouble in almost 50 years, and all I do is try to create that go-go thing with a little jazz with it, with a little blues, with a little soul. It is where I come x from, you understand, the church, gospel and jazz and blues. Mixing it up. I was so glad when the other bands started to catch up to it."
The bill would designate T Street from Sixth to Seventh streets NW in Ward 1 as Duke Ellington Avenue; Seventh Street between T Street and Florida Avenue as Chuck Brown Way; and the 700 block of 10th Street NW as Bud Doggett Way.
The bill also would designate V Street from 13th to 14th streets NW as Langston Hughes Street. On the street is Busboys and Poets, a restaurant named in Hughes's honor.
The vote on the street names is scheduled for next month's legislative session.
Hamil R. Harris