Official Biography (courtesy of Chuck Brown)
Affectionately known as the "Godfather of Go Go," Chuck Brown created the Go Go sound. He combined Latin beats, African call and response chants and American Jazz, throwing in a touch of soul with a continuous drumbeat. This nonstop dance music is and has been a trademark of original creative music from the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., and has gained Chuck Brown worldwide fans.
Chuck Brown began his musical career in the early 60s. His first stage experience was with Jerry Butler and the Earls of Rhythm. Then in 1965, he joined Los Latinos, whose syncopated backbeat enthralled him. This experience gave Chuck the confidence to get out on his own, incorporating all these styles into his band and introducing a sound unlike anything available at that time. "I got sick and tired of watching people sitting around." Chuck says, "Disco was too fast-people didn't want to get all sweaty, and they just sat down. So we cut the beat in half." Chuck called this new sound Go Go, because it never stops. Chuck Brown exploded onto the scene in 1971 with his first hit "We The People." In 1972 he scored again, with the hit "Blow Your Whistle." This was followed by the gold album Bustin Loose and the #1 hit single of the same name on MCA/Source Records. In the mid-80s, the face of Go Go was changed forever with the Future Records release of Go Go Swing. With this release, Chuck Brown broke new ground, and captured the hearts of music lovers young and old, near and far, black and white. Go Go Swing was released around the world, leading to a large international following and numerous international concert tours.
A string of hit records followed, producing the now Go Go classics "Be Bumpin Fresh," "Run Joe," "Day-O," "Back It On Up," "We Need Some Money" and "2001 (Thatll Work)." Five live CDs came next, including This Is A Journey... Into Time Live! released in 1992 in the US and 1993 in Europe, followed by another tour of Europe and Japan. Chuck Brown's 1993 release, The Other Side, is a collaboration with the incredibly talented late vocalist Eva Cassidy (in March 2001 she had the #1 album in the UK). While this project may seem like a radical departure from Chuck's up tempo Go Go creations, The Other Side showcases Chucks roots, influences and talents that influenced his unique signature on the Go Go scene. Hah Man was released in 1994, combining Chuck's Jazz and Blues roots with his Go Go rhythms. A duet of "Blues In The Night" was included in the 1997 release of Eva Cassidy's Eva By Heart. In 1998 Chuck released a Jazz/Blues project entitled Timeless, building on his acclaimed work with Cassidy and bringing Chuck into his own as a master in the exploration of his roots. Chuck released The Spirit Of Christmas in 1999, which contains his renditions of Christmas favorites (including his hit version of "Merry Christmas Baby") as well as 2 duets with Eva Cassidy.
In 2001, Chuck gained national exposure though his association with Eva, when feature pieces on 20/20 and Nightline covered the posthumous resurgence of Eva Cassidy's music in England and America. Your Game... Live at the 9:30 Club, Washington, D.C. was released in May 2001 to rave reviews and voted as one of the top 10 albums of 2001 by Billboard R&B Editor Gail Mitchell, Rapper Chuck D and others. DCs ..1 radio station WPGC began a movement to induct Chuck into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with a hugely successful petition drive. Chuck's hit "Bustin Loose" also regained national attention again, thanks to its use in the smash Nelly single "Hot In Herre."
A Chuck Brown performance became available to the public for the first time on DVD and companion CD in 2002. Entitled Put Your Hands Up! The Tribute Concert To Chuck Brown the concert was directed by MTV director/producer J. Kevin Swain (2 Pac, Erykah Badu, Outkast, etc.). The 2 DVD set is mixed in 5.1 surround sound and recorded on Chuck's home turf at the 9:30 Club. Included on the DVD is the short documentary From The Belly Of The Drum featuring interviews with industry notables like former Def Jam President Kevin Liles, BET's Stephen Hill, Warner Bros. recording artist Meshell Ndegeocello and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell. A new remastered Best Of Chuck Brown double CD was released in April 2005, including previously unavailable tracks.
The National Endowment For The Arts presented Chuck with a Lifetime Heritage Fellowship Award in September of 2005. The NEA said Brown was chosen for the honor because he remains among the few 20th century American vernacular musicians who clearly developed and shaped a musical genre from its infancy to a more mature state.