Chuck Brown, Still on the Go
At 73, go-go legend Chuck Brown hasn't lost a beat.
Few musicians have single-handedly created a genre of music, but Chuck Brown did just that when he developed go-go. Blending syncopated Latin beats with elements of jazz and African rhythms, Brown produced a sound that also derived directly from the music of African American churches. Here, Brown is photographed in the Panorama Room, where he also played in the '60s.
The album cover for Chuck Brown and the Soul-Searchers' "Bustin' Loose," which produced a No. 1 hit in 1979.
The Soul Searchers with Brown (seated): from left, John Buchanan, Ricardo Wellman, Jerry Wilder, LeRoy Fleming, Gregory Gerran, Curtis Johnson and Donald Tillery.
Gilles Petard-Redferns/Getty Images
Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers perform circa 1980.
Charlyn Zlotnik-Getty Images
Brown waves to fans who came out in the rain to see a ceremony in which a section of 7th Street NW, from T to Florida, was renamed in honor of the musician.
The street-naming event coincided with Brown's 73rd birthday and was meant to be a block party, but the plans were foiled by persistent rain.
When the Chuck Brown Way sign is revealed, the crowd cheers,
Overcome with emotion, he hugs his wife, right, and daughter as the sign for Chuck Brown Way is uncovered.
"I love ya'll so much," he said during his speech. "I remember when the only people that wanted to take a picture of me -- 50 years ago -- was the police," he laughs. "You understand what I'm sayin'? Thank you to the city and to all of you for giving me all this love, all these years."
Chuck Brown departs after the street-naming ceremony. He is now 73, and he has never stopped working. He performs regularly, mostly up and down the Eastern Seaboard, from New Orleans to New York, often with annual trips to Japan, where he's surprisingly popular.
engages the crowd at the 9:30 Club
in August, celebrating his 73rd birthday and the new street naming.
Chuck Brown in one of his ever-present hats. These days, he performs between four and eight times a month, 12 months a year, and if he spends less time on the road, it is only because he is increasingly hesitant to be away from his family.
Chuck Brown's Long Dance (Post Magazine, Oct. 4, 2009)
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