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The Soundtrack of My Childhood

In case you didn’t know, I grew up in Washington DC.  Not the metro area, but Southeast DC. The hood if you want to really know.

I loved every minute of it.

As a child growing up in DC there were a few constants:

  • A half smoke with chili and cheese was a must have
  • Rock Creek Peach Soda and Utz  Crab Potato Chips went together like ham and cheese
  • Chicken Wings and Mumbo Sauce is a gourmet meal
  • Sundays were for the Redskins
  • And Chuck Brown was Go Go

Now, if you don’t know what Go Go is, I’ll direct you here and  here.

To put it simply, go go and Chuck Brown was and has always been, the beat of my city, the soundtrack of my childhood.

My parents weren’t from DC, so it wasn’t like I would hear it in the house. Or even on the radio at that time.

Go Go music just was.

I don’t remember where I first heard it. But I know that the first “song” I ever became aware of, the first one I could do every beat, every “huh”, every word to was a Chuck Brown one. In fact, as I think on it, I know it was “Go Go Swing”.

It was everywhere, from open car windows in the summertime to start up bands in the alley behind my house ( that would be Junkyard Band ).

It was a beat, a rhythm, it was soo….DC.

Every cookout, every house party, every club…..

There is was.

It’s a groove that starts in your hips and moves up your spine until you are helplessly bobbing your head and moving.

Chuck Brown respresented all of this.

I can’t remember life without Chuck Brown.

“It don’t mean a thing, if you don’t got that Go Go Swing. Go doo wah, doo wah doo wah  doo wah ……”

Sigh.

RIP Chuck.

  • Reply
    KalleyC
    May 18, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I’ve heard about him and read about his passing. It’s a shame that G0-Go didn’t really catch on in other areas. As with all musical icons, he will be missed, and hopefully other areas are curious enough to find out about him and his legend will live on.
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  • Reply
    Raina
    May 18, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I’m from Alexandria and live in Baltimore now. I don’t know life without Chuck. Yesterday my favorite Go-Go hits were the soundtrack of my work day. Sardines and Pork and Beans, Go-Go Swing; you name it, I listened to it. Sorry you’re not hear to enjoy the endless tributes on WPGC. There will be lots cookouts this weekend with crab chips, crabs from The Wharf, mambo sauce and good ole’ Chuck playing in the background.

  • Reply
    Ms. Understood
    May 18, 2012 at 9:18 am

    RIP Chuck. The dedications on the radio were in full force yesterday. When I moved to DC, I got the culture shock of a lifetime with Go Go music (and Mumbo sauce, LOL). I was like, what’s with all this bucket beating on the street and this strange music I’ve never heard? But eventually, I couldn’t get enough of Overnight Scenario and One leg up/booty on the floor. 🙂 Great post. I love nostalgic posts. Reminds us to be thankful.
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  • Reply
    MrsTDJ
    May 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Wind me up Chuck!! I had started a post about Chuck, then I heard that Donna Summer passed. Two blows. When I moved to Alexandria from NY in ’91, I was CONFUSED by go-go. It sounded like messy noise. Within a few weeks, Northeast Groovers pulled me in and then I was open to everything else. I’ve seen Chuck in concert many times and I’ll never forget my Grandmother dancing with my husband at my wedding to Go-Go Swing. ***tearing up*** RIP Chuck!! Great post!!
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    • Reply
      rosesdaughter
      May 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      ahhhh, northeast groovers..I had to pull them up on You-tube!

  • Reply
    PhotogCynthia
    May 21, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Fabulous. Love him. Great for dancing around the kitchen. RIP Chuck Brown and Donna Summer.
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