The Washington Post

Chuck Brown dies; Fans remember a D.C. musical legend

If you grew up in the D.C. area, chances are you have a memory of Chuck Brown.

View Photo Gallery: The “godfather of go-go” has died.

After news of Brown’s death broke, fans took to Twitter to pay tribute with the hash tags #GodfatherofGoGo, #RIPChuckBrown and — one familiar to D.C. natives — #WindMeUpChuck.

My father — who grew up listening to Brown’s music and helped me identify his influence on the popular songs I devoured as a teenager — taught me about the “Godfather of Go-Go” at an early age. My father and I haven’t always agreed on what constitutes good music (he’ll never understand my appreciation of this, for example), but the genius of Chuck Brown was never up for debate.

Chuck Brown, with members of The Superland Stage Band. (Mario D’Ambrosio)

My friends and I danced alongside fans my father’s age as chants of “Wind Me Up Chuck!” echoed across the bar.

For my friends, the chance to open for a local legend meant even more. Among them was Mario D’Ambrosio, a saxophonist whose father snapped the photos in this post. D’Ambrosio fondly remembers talking with Brown in between sets.

“Chuck was a class act, ” he wrote to me after hearing of Brown’s death. “As a young musician still in college, I was blown away by his kindness and willingness to sit there and talk to me about what it was like to be a professional musician.”

On Twitter, the tributes to Brown are just as personal — fans are sharing everything from photos of Brown to lists of his numerous contributions to Go-Go and other musical genres. Check out some of the most touching tweets in the Storify below and tweet your own photos and memories of Brown to @washingtonpost.

YOUR TAKE: Your Chuck Brown memories

Share your Chuck Brown memories and photos using #RipChuckBrown on Twitter.

Bethonie Butler is a producer and a reporter on The Post’s engagement team. She oversees online comments and has also contributed to The Style Blog and She The People.



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