Thousands packed the Washington Convention Center for Chuck Brownâ€™s funeral. But if anyone wanted to shed a tear for Chuck they needed to squeeze it in between dance sessions â€” the funeral was a party. Brownâ€™s family and a VIP crowd including Mayor Vincent Gray and former Mayor Marion Barry paid respects to the man who developed a rhythmic form of funk that Washington claims as its own. Brown was 75.
Bands, once banished to suburbs by crime crackdown, are trickling back â€” but cityâ€™s sound needs support.
A year later, one group is getting on better than the other.
â€śEverybody who connected with Chuck misses him,â€ť said Darryl Brooks, a concert promoter who was close to Brown. â€śBut for the family, itâ€™s like somebody taking the foundation from under you. I pray for them.â€ť
Before he became ill last year, Brown was everywhere, maintaining a full schedule of performances and public appearances.
Demand for his services â€” and songs â€” was robust: He earned $235,000 to $285,000 annually, according to documents filed with the Prince Georgeâ€™s County Register of Wills.
â€śHe was working all the time, and he loved it,â€ť said his manager, Tom Goldfogle. â€śWorking was his life.â€ť
Brown is still being mourned and celebrated. A tribute band, including many of Brownâ€™s old bandmates, will perform some of his songs Thursday â€” the anniversary of his death â€” at the Howard Theatre. A second concert is scheduled for Friday at Rams Head in Annapolis.
Theyâ€™ll do â€śBustinâ€™ Looseâ€ť and â€śGo Go Swingâ€ť and â€śRun Joeâ€ť and most of the rest of Brownâ€™s best-known songs, just as theyâ€™ve done multiple times since he died, usually at the Howard, where Brown had shined shoes before finding stardom with his own sound.
Wiley Brown, who moved home from Virginia Tech to look after his grieving mother, will sing some of his fatherâ€™s parts.
Nekos Brown, who keeps a memorial service banner in the car, will wear a suit and hat, the way Dad always did.
Donelson will try to keep it together while summoning her beloved stepfatherâ€™s spirit. â€śThe music will be alive, even though he is gone,â€ť she said.
It will be a dance party, not a wake: That came at the Howard last May, when thousands of people lined up around the block to view Brownâ€™s open casket.
The singer is buried in an unmarked grave at Trinity Memorial Gardens in Waldorf. His final resting place is near a tree in the cemeteryâ€™s Garden of Christus. The family plans to put a footstone down sometime this year; thereâ€™s been talk of a graveside remembrance service around Brownâ€™s birthday, which is Aug. 22.
During his career, Brown projected an image of wealth. He bought his own limousine, wore alligator shoes and tailored suits and sometimes draped fur coats over his shoulders.
The singer and his wife owned at least two homes, in Waldorf and Brandywine. But Brown did not necessarily die rich, the court filings show.
Read article in entirety at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/chuck-brown-godfather-of-go-go-missed-by-family-and-fans-one-year-after-death/2013/05/15/9e144a62-bcaa-11e2-9b09-1638acc3942e_story.html
How do you remember Chuck Brown? Share your memories, thoughts, prayers, tributes… – NS