Chuck Brown's Memorial Service: A Review | News
This piece was written by WUSA9 intern Caroline: "Don't curse the rosebush because it has thorns, celebrate the thornbush because it has roses", this sentiment echoed by radio host Willie Jolley perfectly described the atmosphere at today's "home-going service" honoring the Godfather of Go-Go which was anything but somber.
Masses of people came out with both style and soul to celebrate the great life of Chuck Brown. A continuous line up of performers, during the arrivals portion of the event, created a concert like mood that the crowd was more than happy to keep up in both song and dance.
The service began with remarks from Donnie Simpson, Mayor Vincent Gray, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Council Chairman Kwame Brown. Each spoke of the vibrant nature of Brown's life and the electricity and innovation in his sound. Mayor Gray announced his proposal to dedicate a park in Brown's name, Congresswoman Norton introduced a bill she recently introduced proposing that August 22 be named as national Chuck Brown day, while Councilman Brown proposed a Go-Go hall of fame in honor of the godfather's created genre.
A slew of musical performances, in addition to a tribute from Councilman Marion Barry, perpetuated the soulful spirit of the service. Sentiments given by Brown's children were particularly touching. Each thanked the fans for their support and shared lessons their father imparted on them.
Though the service certainly lacked elements of the tradition funeral it was undoubtedly highly religious. All of the speakers and performers were adamant in their praising of God both as a part of their own spirituality and as a highly important part of Brown's. Ultimately between the tremendous outpouring of love and support from both fans and friends, in addition to the electrifying soil exuded by the performers proved once and for all that, in DC, "there ain't no party like a Chuck Brown party!"