How to Remember Donna Summer and Chuck Brown: Dance!

In his column at the Washington Post, Eugene Robinson reflects on this week's loss of the Queen of Disco and the Godfather of Go-Go and offers advice on paying homage to them.

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Chuck Brown (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

In his column at the Washington Post, Eugene Robinson reflects on this week's loss of Donna Summer, the Queen of Disco, and Chuck Brown, the Godfather of Go-Go. He also offers advice on paying homage to them: Get up and dance!

The soundtrack of my youth is fading. That’s hardly an original observation, but self-indulgence is a columnist’s inalienable right and music has unique power to summon unbidden waves of nostalgia. I’ll spend the rest of the day listening to the “Queen of Disco” and the “Godfather of Go-Go,” and saying goodbye ...

Donna Summer, who died Thursday, was the undisputed monarch of a musical genre that I tried my best to hate. Disco had none of the spontaneity and rough edges of rock ‘n’ roll, none of the rawness and authenticity of rhythm and blues, and yet it emerged from those sources like some sort of genetic anomaly ...

On Wednesday, we lost another seminal figure in popular music, the guitarist and bandleader Chuck Brown ...

Here in Washington, however, Brown was known simply as the Godfather. He is credited as the inventor of the unique local sound known as go-go, a brand of syncopated funk distinguished by the central role given to percussion — congas, cowbells, rototoms, wooden boxes, plastic buckets, anything that goes bang or boom when you hit it. It’s hard to describe what distinguishes a go-go beat, but you know one if you hear one. It’s almost as if the drums are singing the melody and everything else is just along for the ride ...

There is only one way to celebrate the legacy of these two legends: Get up and dance

Read more at the Washington Post.

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