Chuck Brown, the man dubbed 'the godfather of go-go' has died, aged 75, BBC News reports today. As a guitarist and singer in Washington DC in the 1970s, Brown helped to create the city's lively 'go-go' scene; a mixture of funk, soul and Latin music. His biggest hit, 'Bustin' Loose,' spent a month at the top of the US R&B chart. Brown was particularly well-known on the scene for his energetic live performances, which often went on for hours, with very few breaks in between songs.
The Mayor of Washington DC, Vincent Gray, paid tribute to Chuck, saying "Go-go is DC's very own unique contribution to the world of pop music. Today is a very sad day for music lovers the world over". Chuck served time in prison in the 1950s and 1960s, for murder after shooting a man in what he claims was self-defence. It was during his time behind bars, that he got his first guitar, after trading it for five cartons of cigarettes with a fellow inmate. Once out of prison, he formed the band the Soul Searchers, combining "funky horns with lively percussion and his own deep vocals to create vibrant club tunes."
Although the go-go scene struggled to make an impact outside of its own city at the time, and was soon usurped by hip-hop, Chuck Brown's legacy endures. He is credited for launching the career of Eva Cassidy, when they performed together on the album The Other Side. He was nominated for a Grammy in 2010, for his collaboration with Jill Scott, entitled 'Love.'