The version of “Shout” embedded below is the Saturday Night Beech-Nut Hour hosted by Dick Clark. The first two or three seconds are priceless if you are 50 years old or older. – was written by O’Kelly Isley Jr.
Above is “Fight the Power” in a classic “Soul Train” segment. There are two important songs by that name. Public Enemy recorded the other.
The Isley Brothers have a very long and distinguished history. Here is part of the band’s profile at AllMusic:
The first generation of Isley siblings was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, where they were encouraged to begin a singing career by their father, himself a professional vocalist, and their mother, a church pianist who provided musical accompaniment at their early performances. Initially a gospel quartet, the group was comprised of Ronald, Rudolph, O’Kelly, and Vernon Isley; after Vernon’s 1955 death in a bicycling accident, tenor Ronald was tapped as the remaining trio’s lead vocalist. In 1957, the brothers went to New York City to record a string of failed doo wop singles; while performing a spirited reading of the song “Lonely Teardrops” in Washington, D.C., two years later, they interjected the line “You know you make me want to shout,” which inspired frenzied audience feedback. An RCA executive in the audience saw the concert, and when he signed the Isleys soon after, he instructed that their first single be constructed around their crowd-pleasing catch phrase; while the call-and-response classic “Shout” failed to reach the pop Top 40 on its initial release, it eventually became a frequently covered classic. (Continue Reading…)
The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. This is the beginning of the official bio:
From the Fifties onward, the Isley Brothers have been a musical institution whose prolific career has explored the musical intersection of gospel, R&B, rock, soul, funk and disco. Having been a family-based group since their inception, the Isley Brothers originated with four gospel-singing brothers: Ronald, o’Kelly, Rudolph and Vernon (the last of whom was killed in a bike accident in 1955). The three surviving brothers left their hometown of Cincinnati in 1957 for New York City, where they recorded several songs for small labels. Their breakthrough came with their fervent recording of “Shout,” an original inspired by a line from Jackie Wilson’s “Lonely Teardrops” and shot through with raucous, gospel-style testifying. (Continue Reading…)
This is the first trombone player featured at TDMB. It’s nice that he is a next step in the proud tradition of New Orleans horn players. Indeed, he seems to play trumpet — which of course is the heart of that tradition — as much as the bones.
Here is the beginning of his Wikipedia entry:
Troy Andrews (born January 2, 1986), also known by the stage name Trombone Shorty is a trombone and trumpet player from New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. He has worked in jazz, funk and rap music. Andrews is the younger brother of trumpeter and bandleader James Andrews as well as the grandson of singer and songwriter Jessie Hill. Andrews began playing trombone at age six, and since 2009 has toured with his own band, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. (Continue Reading…)
Low Rider, above, doesn’t start until about a minute and half into the clip. It is interesting to watch Don Cornelius hold court, however.
War has a long, complex and interesting history. Here is the beginning of AllMusic’s profile:
One of the most popular funk groups of the ’70s, War were also one of the most eclectic, freely melding soul, Latin, jazz, blues, reggae, and rock influences into an effortlessly funky whole. Although War’s lyrics were sometimes political in nature (in keeping with their racially integrated lineup), their music almost always had a sunny, laid-back vibe emblematic of their Southern California roots. War kept the groove loose, and they were given over to extended jamming — in fact, many of their studio songs were edited together out of longer improvisations. Even if the jams sometimes got indulgent, they demonstrated War’s truly group-minded approach: no one soloist or vocalist really stood above the others (even though all were clearly talented), and their grooving interplay placed War in the top echelon of funk ensembles. (Continue Reading…)
Wikipedia has more:
War (originally called Eric Burdon and War) is an American funk band from California, known for the hit songs “Low Rider”, “Spill the Wine”, “The Cisco Kid”, “The World Is a Ghetto”, and “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”. Formed in 1969, War was a musical crossover band which fused elements of rock, funk, jazz, Latin, rhythm and blues, and reggae. The band also transcended racial and cultural barriers with a multi-ethnic line-up. War was also subject to many line-up changes over the course of its formation, leaving member Leroy “Lonnie” Jordan as the only original member in the current line-up.
Although War’s lyrics are often socio-political in nature, their music usually had a laid-back, California funk vibe. A particular feature of War’s sound is the use of harmonica and saxophone playing melody lines in unison, sounding like a single instrument, for example in the melody of “Low Rider”. The music has been sampled and recorded by many singers and groups, ranging from R&B/pop singers such as Janet Jackson to nu metal band Korn and hip hop groups like TLC. (Continue Reading…)
Thanks to my friend Tim for letting me know about Robert Randolph and the Family Band.
A couple of paragraphs about the band’s new album, We Walk This Road, provides good insight into what the band is about:
[Producer] T Bone Burnett shared the vision of how gospel, blues and rock could be put together in a way that could relate to my history and connect to my present. It was important to us that we make the record we wanted to make, even if the end result was unclassifiable. We just focused on making great songs and great music that spoke to me, and that reflected the way I try to speak to the world.
Something had been missing from this site. I finally figured out what it was: Falco. Here are the words of Der Kommissar in English. See if you can make sense of it.
I look for any rationale for playing great tunes. So, happy 58th birthday, Mark Avsec. Avsec was the keyboardist in Wild Cherry, whose Play that Funky Music reached number 1 in the U.S. in 1976. Avec is a member of Donnie Iris & the Cruisers and a copyright attorney. The question is whether he still can fit into that black jumpsuit.
I don’t really understand it, from the spaceships landing and the guy in the diaper, but it all is very funky and the musicianship is great.
Believe it or not, Duke University has a Q and A on the band. Parliament and Funkadelic, it seems, are two distinct groups headed by George Clinton. Now I think I get it.
Here is an example of the Q&A, which is weirdly formatted:
8. What are the various aliases P.Funkers have used? RC: ‘G Cook’, a name used in a number of Funkadelic writing credits, is really Eddie Hazel. It’s actually his mother’s name, Grace Cook. ‘J S Theracon’ is a name used by Junie Morrison at a time when he was under contract to another record company but still wanted to record with Parliament. David Spradley has gone by a number of names, including ‘David Lee Chong’ and ‘Chong Spradley.’ George Clinton is known variously as ‘Dr. Funkenstein’, ‘Dr. Funk’, ‘Mr. Wiggles’, and ‘Starchild’. These are more characters than aliases, but he has been known to use them on personnel listings on album liner notes, in lieu of his real name. Bootsy Collins has gone by ‘Casper (the funky/friendly/holy ghost)’, ‘Bootzilla’, ‘The Player’, ‘Zillatron’, and ‘Sugar Crook’.