Chuck Brown memorial at Howard Theatre
Updated: May 30, 2012 - 08:22 am
The man who filled Washington D.C. with his legendary Go-Go music for so many years lay in repose Tuesday inside the Howard Theatre, while thousands of "Chuckaholics" came out to pay their final respects to chuck Brown.
Family, friends and fans spent the day saying goodbye to a local music legend during the public viewing honoring the "Godfather of Go-Go" two weeks after he passed away at the age of 75.
Before his death, Brown was scheduled to play a sold out concert at the Howard Theatre on April 21, but he fell ill. The show was canceled and rescheduled for June 29.
"I named one of my sons Chuck Brown back in 1986, and I always say 'Chuck Brown was my baby's daddy,'" fan Berlin Thomas said.
Organizers expected more than 30,000 people, along with Brown's family and friends, to attend Tuesday's viewing at the Howard Theatre. Brown's legendary Go-Go music played for visitors as they passed through the entrance of the historic venue while two large screens show pictures of the musician near his casket.
Another memorial service for Brown is scheduled Thursday at the D.C. Convention Center.
"He gave so much love, so he's receiving the love back," Cherita Whiting, Brown's daughter, said. "It's humbling, but not surprising."
Brown's children came out into the sweltering heat to mingle with the huge crowd that gathered to mourn and celebrate.
"We definitely love the city for the support, because he is the city," another one of Brown's daughters, Kaykay, said. "He's like our Elvis."
In death, as in life, Brown's memorial carried his style. D.C. native and boxing legend Rock Newman said that Chuck looked regal.
"He's in a gold casket in front of purple-lit drapes with his guitar by his side," Newman said.
The D.C. Public Library is also in the process of honoring Brown's legacy.
The library is asking fans to help with the creation of a Chuck Brown archive by donating memorabilia, like flyers, posters, photographs, concert ticket stubs or any video or audio recordings of Chuck Brown or other Go-Go musicians.
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