The legend goes that the term “Go-Go” was coined at a Chuck Brown show. “I came up on stage and I said, ‘What time is it? and they called ‘Time to Go-Go,'” says Chuck Brown. Most folks around here agree that Brown is the godfather of go go. His career began when he played the organ at the Mount Zion Holiness of God. Brown’s go go music is derived from the “thumpin’ funk” sound of James Brown. It bottoms out with heavy African percussion under syncopated call and response hooks similar to rap. In 1976 Brown wrote a song called “Busting Loose,” a horn-happy party declaration that was his first national hit. Since then, his string of hits includes “We Need Some Money,” a witty song about being broke; and a remake of the Harry Belafonte classic “Day-O.” More recently, his jazz albums have been receiving much acclaim.

February 25, 1924 – January 20, 2002

For much of his life, John Jackson played for country house parties in Virginia, or around the house for his amusement. Then in the 60s, he encountered the folk revival, and since that time he has been one of the Washington, D.C. area’s best-loved blues artists. Undoubtedly the finest traditional Peidmont guitarist active today, Jackson exemplifies the songster tradition at its best. His eclectic repertoire embraces the music of his guitar heroes, Willie Walker (who once visited his father’s house), Blind Boy Fuller, and most notably – Blind Blake. Besides the blues, rags and dance tunes associated with these masters, Jackson plays ballads, country songs, and what he terms “old folk songs” His confident finger-picking, down-home Virginia accent, and contagious good humor mark his performances, live or on record, as something special. A world-class storyteller and party-thrower, as well as a National Heritage Award-winning musician who has toured the world as often as he has wanted. – Barry Lee Pearson

Content courtesy of Washington Area Music Association.