Go-go is a uniquely Washington D.C. invention. The genre, created by guitarist Chuck Brown, is indebted to funk but it also touches on R&B, hip hop and always features more congas than you think should be necessary… until you hear the result, that is. Island Records boss Chris Blackwell felt the same way in the mid-’80s. His label had enormous success in bringing various genres to the shores of UK, most notably with the likes of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and King Sunny Adé.
In the early ’70s Blackwell had been an uncredited executive producer on Cliff’s breakout film The Harder They Come, and he sensed that a similar approach might work in introducing go-go to the wider world. It didn’t. But while Good to Go is (thankfully) largely unseen today, the film represents an excellent prism from which to ponder why go-go has never reached far beyond the borders of D.C. Go-Go Live author Natalie Hopkinson takes us through the story of what might’ve been.