By Leah Greenblatt
Updated May 16, 2012 at 10:01 PM EDT

Chuck Brown, a singer and guitarist known as “the godfather of go-go,” passed away in Baltimore today. He was 75.

Go-go never quite gained national recognition on the charts, but it became a bona-fide phenomenon in the Washington D.C. area in the mid-’70s, with Brown at its (very funky) center. His career, which stretched across four decades and more than 20 albums, easily transcended the genre — to many in the region, he was a beloved figure and a source of local pride.

Brown also recorded the theme song for the Fox sitcom The Sinbad Show in the ’90s, and his early hit “Bustin’ Loose” is the home-run song for the Washington Nationals baseball team (you can hear elements of its distinctive melody and lyrics in Nelly’s 2002 chart topper “Hot in Here”). In 2009, a block in D.C. was renamed Chuck Brown Way in his honor.

Listen to Brown’s “Run Joe” below:

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