Thursday, May 17, 2012

Remembering the Godfather of Go-Go

Chuck Brown, Champion of the Humanities

Joy Ford Austin and then HCWDC Board Chair, Don
Murray with Chuck Brown in 2009.
In September 2009, Chuck Brown spoke to the graduating class of Soul of the City at the German Historical Institute about his coming of age and his love of music.  I can still see clearly how the audience of young people, their friends and families listened to his every word and clamored up after to take photographs with him. He was genuine and wise speaking about his values without pretension. He had a story to tell of overcoming adversity and he told it well. His wife, Jocelyn Brown, was with him and he talked about his sons with pride and joy, mentioning his son who played football.  He talked about his life in the city, which he loved, and to whom he gave his greatest gift, his musical genius, bestowing on all of us, the wonderful, infectious rhythms of Go-Go, our homegrown, hometown music that we have and will enjoy forever.

That evening, the Humanities Council of Washington, DC was pleased to give him its Champion of the Humanities Award for his tireless efforts to preserve Go-Go recognizing his creativity and his work with young musicians as well as his accessibility to audiences all over the city and the world.  

Chuck Brown, our Champion left us yesterday but as long a there are people who listen to and love great music,  and who will share and build on his tradition, he will be remembered and appreciated. 

- Joy Ford Austin, Executive Director, Humanities Council of Washington, DC

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