They say that death always comes in threes, and last month the entertainment industry lost three icons and pioneers in their fields. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of Chuck Brown, Donna Summer and Hal Jackson.
MR. MARTIN: They say that death always comes in threes, and last month the entertainment industry lost three icons and pioneers in their fields. First, Chuck Brown.
[VIDEO OF CHUCK BROWN IN PERFORMANCE.]
MR. MARTIN (VOICEOVER): If you live in the DMV, also known as D.C., Maryland [and] Virginia, you probably had the sound of go-go music ringing in your ears long after you left the area. People outside of this area may not know what go-go is –
[END OF VIDEO CLIP.]
MR. MARTIN: — but folks here love it and its creator.
The “Godfather of Go-Go” was Chuck Brown. Chuck passed away earlier this month, and folks came out in full force to celebrate his life – first, at public viewing at the newly renovated Howard Theater and finally at a funeral service held here at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. His homegoing service was very much like what his legendary concerts were like, with live performances by go-go bands that he inspired and thousands of fans inside and lining the streets outside. The Godfather of Go-Go is gone, but Chuck Brown’s music and his spirit will remain.
And just as Chuck Brown was the “Godfather of Go-Go,” Donna Summer was the “Queen of Disco.” She was a five-time Grammy winner and the first artist to have three, consecutive double albums reach number one on the Billboard chart. Donna Summer lost her battle with lung cancer this month at the age of 63. She will be sadly missed.
And finally, there’s Hal Jackson, the legendary inspiration to radio jocks everywhere. Hal Jackson was the first African-American voice on network radio, starting out as a play-by-play announcer in Washington, D.C., and later moving to New York to help establish Inner City, one of the first Black-owned broadcasting companies, owned by Percy Sutton. At his funeral service at the Riverside Church in Harlem, Grammy award-winning singer Alicia Keys recalled Jackson as being the first to play her breakthrough single, “Fallin’,” on the radio.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of Chuck Brown, Donna Summer and Hal Jackson.