Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers – Bustin’ Loose

25th July 2022 · 1970s, 1978, Funk, Music, Soul

Chuck Brown is surely not the only convicted murderer to have a hit record, but his crime lends a certain macabre cachet to his place in pop history.

Brown was nicknamed The Godfather of Go-Go – a small but influential sub-genre of funk that emerged in Washington D.C. in the mid-1970s.

Bustin’ Loose was the only notable tune the genre produced when it topped the US R&B chart in 1978.

By then Brown, who had lived on the streets of D.C. in his teens, earning pennies as a shoeshine boy, was already in his 40s, his rise to fame having been delayed by eight years in jail.

It was while in prison, serving time for murder, that Chuck traded some cigarettes for a guitar and began to learn the instrument.

He started to play local venues after his release, but was only allowed to perform in places without a liquor licence as part of his parole conditions.

After playing in several local bands, by the 1970s he had formed his own group, Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers, and this was their finest moment.

It was later appropriated by Nelly as the basis for his chart topper Hot In Herre, giving it new life for a new generation.