The D.C. Public Library wants to create an archive devoted to Chuck Brown, the Godfather of Go-Go, and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said it would appreciate a little help from the public.
“Chuck Brown captured the hearts and rhythm of District residents for over 30 years,” Gray said in a May 29 statement. “As you look over old pictures, performances and old newspapers, consider donating them to the Library so that the District can preserve Chuck’s musical legacy for generations to come.”
“Like John Philip Sousa and Duke Ellington, Chuck Brown’s genius and contribution to the District deserves to be honored,” said D.C. Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper. “This archive will tell his story, the story of Go-Go and the impact both had on American music.”
The library is asking for flyers, posters, photographs, concert-ticket stubs, videos or DVDs, CDs and audio recordings of Chuck Brown and other go-go musicians, as well as letters that describe attending a Chuck Brown/Go-Go concert. The items may be brought to the Washingtoniana Division at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.
Donated materials will be reviewed, organized and preserved. Students, researchers and historians interested in D.C. history, art and people will be able to access the archive free of charge. Donors must complete a form turning over ownership of the items to the D.C. Public Library and agreeing not to expect compensation.
The Library has more than 230 archives chronicling key moments in the city’s political, social and artistic history dating back to the late 18th century.