Chuck Brown's Gibson Guitar

Object Details

wood, metal, plastic, mother-of-pearl
41 × 16 × 2 in. (104.1 × 40.6 × 5.1 cm)
Cite As
Gift of Chuck Brown
This Gibson ES-335-DOT guitar belonged to Charles “Chuck” Brown (1936-2012), known as the “Godfather of Go-Go” for fusing rhythm and blues, Latin jazz, and funk into Washington, DC’s syncopated signature sound. The six-string, semi-acoustic guitar has a light brown maple body, while inlaid mother-of-pearl dots its darker rosewood neck. A Custom Shop Edition of Gibson’s Electric Spanish (ES) series, its plastic volume and tone controls complement the golden hued maple in contrast with silvery steel pickups, bridge, and tuning pegs. Brown’s musical start began at Lorton Reformatory in the 1960s, where a counselor taught him to play guitar. Nearly fifty years later, Brown played again at Lorton, which reopened as a public arts center in 2008. Onstage, Brown recognized his mentor in the audience and credited him for both guitar lessons and helping to save his life. From fronting the Soul Searchers to the band that still carries his name, Brown and his guitar remained an iconic duo until his passing in 2012. The District honors his legacy each August on Chuck Brown Day when Chuck Brown Memorial Park is “bustin’ loose” with go-go, which became the city’s official music in 2020.
Accession Number
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
Data Source
Anacostia Community Museum
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
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