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The King of Bounce Beat: How Polo Brought Go-Go Into the 21st Century

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In 2003, the best place to find Polo was onstage at nightclubs across the D.C. area—but if you showed up early to the go-go, you might’ve found him in the parking lot, taking a nap. I first met TCB’s lead talker that year, outside of the old Deno’s Metro Club on Bladensburg Road NE, when I interrupted his preshow snooze. I was writing a story about the venue and had stepped outside to talk on the phone and smoke. My voice woke him up, so he got out of the car—he was sporting a Polo jacket—walked over, and asked me for a cigarette. He was unsmiling but friendly, and we chatted for a minute.

He talked about a war against go-go—how local officials and the Metropolitan Police Department seemed to blame the music for late-night violence and were determined to stamp out the sound. This was a few years before Club U would shutter for good and more than seven years before Washington City Paper reported that MPD compiled a regular “go-go report” of shows in the area. Still, the writing was on the wall; he was standing in a D.C. neighborhood that used to be a hub of the music but had seen many of its nightclubs—the Icebox, the Taj Mahal—close. Even Deno’s would shut down soon.

Polo also talked, very briefly, about how he was taking go-go in a different direction, and how it was hard to get respect for what he was doing. At the time, his band had been on the scene for a minute but had recently debuted a new sound: bounce beat, a more forceful, drum-heavy style that was a departure from what most people recognized as go-go.

Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about Polo’s prescience in our conversation, as well as the one thing he was wrong about: As it turned out, he needn’t have worried about gaining the region’s attention.

Read more @ The Washington City Paper

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Thank you for EVERYTHING John Lewis! RIH – 1940 – 2020

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John Robert Lewis (February 21, 1940 – July 17, 2020) was an American politician and civil rights leader who served in the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district from 1987 until his death in 2020. Lewis served as the Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1963 to 1966.

Lewis, who as SNCC chairman, was one of the “Big Six” leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington, fulfilled many key roles in the civil rights movement and its actions to end legalized racial segregation in the United States.

A member of the Democratic Party, Lewis was first elected to Congress in 1986 and served for 17 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Due to his length of service, he became the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation. The district he served includes the northern three-quarters of Atlanta.

He was a leader of the Democratic Party in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 1991 as a Chief Deputy Whip and from 2003 as Senior Chief Deputy Whip. He received many honorary degrees and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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DMV & Radio Legend Tony Redz passed away | RIP Mr 24/7 Tony Redz💔

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The legendary DMV radio DJ and host Tony Redz Aka Mr. 24/7 passed away today (May 29) of a heart attack. The news regarding his death was confirmed by Redz’s former colleague and fellow radio host Sunni on Twitter. The tweet read, “Got a call from DJ Flexx that shattered my heart. Can’t believe our former colleague Tony Redz has passed away. Way too young. Prayers to his family. Unbelievable.”

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Grammy-winning soul singer Betty Wright dead at 66

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Betty Wright, a Grammy-winning soul singer and songwriter known for influential hits such as “Clean Up Woman” and “Where is the Love,” died at age 66 at her home in Miami on Sunday.

Steve Greenberg of S-Curve Records told the New York Times Wright had been diagnosed with cancer in the fall.

Wright had her breakthrough with 1971’s “Clean Up Woman,” which combined elements of funk, soul and R&B.

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