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OT: Quick Question


Cygnus64

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For me, the big three in order are:

 

James Brown (who had Bootsy Collins playing bass for him). 'Nuff said.

 

Sly Stone rarified it with Larry Graham slapping the bass like never before.

 

George Clinton for taking funk to new psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoodlioopy level.

 

YMMV

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Yeah, I was thinking James Brown. I wrote a tempo indication in a chart, "Funkfather". :laugh: I was thinking James Brown and was wondering if others would see it that way. Then again, some of the classical cats wouldn't know who that was, unless they saw "The Blues Brothers" or the Rocky movie.

 

Isn't his "official" title The Godfather of Soul? That's how he is listed in Rocky 4 (3?).

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Use A quick answer, the first thing that pops in your head. Avoid scrolling to see other answers before you answer, I'm looking to see if there is a consensus:

 

Q. Who is the Father of Funk?

Cab Calloway, followed by James Brown, then George Clinton.

Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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Haven't read the other replies, but I would think the answer lies somewhere in the evolution of New Orleans music. Lee Dorsey comes to mind, but for all I know he wasn't the first to play the sound we now call funk.

 

edit: ok, I've read the other replies, and maybe we're interpreting the question differently. I was thinking Father of Funk being sort of like "Father of our Nation"= George Washington, not that he was the greatest president, just the first. Wouldn't disagree with James Brown being the among the greatest, but did he create that sound?

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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I believe James Brown is more the Godfather of Soul.

 

The Motown studio musicians were calling themselves the Funk Brothers in the early '60's, as well.

 

I don't think "Funk" has one father, anymore than Jazz, Blues, or Rock 'n' Roll. Remember, way back when, musicians were checking each other's sound out on music circuits and smoky clubs, long before any act got on wax, or got radio play.

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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It would be a war as to who was first but Brown moved away from straight soul and blues to funk signatures in 1964

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rr76jCr9c1k

 

Which is kind of like a tame 'Shotgun'

 

By 1965 he was full bore funk and all the elements were there.

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT57-69Z0PE&feature=fvst

 

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James Brown's first regular drummer Clayton Fillyau came up with some of the first drum patterns to have a funky design to them, if not feel. Brown supposedly 'vocalised' the rhythm for Cold Sweat to Clyde Stubblefield and that's how that true funk rhythm started.

 

They were all drawing on Latin music, in particular the Boogaloo. Check out Watermelon Man by Herbie Hancock (1962) or Mongo Santamaría's (slightly later) version, or the 1957 original version of Louie Louie by Richard Berry. No, it's not funk, but it has elements of it and these tracks are representative of the music that was in the air at the time.

 

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEOOte8YkbQ

 

As for the Meters, they used to back early Lee Dorsey sides and it isn't funk (although of course they became a great funk band and they did record funky stuff with Dorsey too). However, because of the Latin tinge in New Orleans music there are elements of Funk in the early R&B stuff.

 

One person pulled it altogether though, and that was James Brown. End of...

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JB for me.

 

I was in a comedy club in Ohio twenty years ago and one of the (guitar playing) comedians asked the crowd if they liked Prince? Not much of a response from the punters and he says "Anyone like any funk?" and someone shouts "Grand Funk Railroad."

 

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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I think there's a psychological thing going on here. The phrase "Father of Funk" made me think James Brown first, but then I thought about it and said to myself, "that's probably not quite right" and started to think about some other cats.

 

But the phrase made me think of JB, accurate or not.

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But the phrase made me think of JB, accurate or not.

 

This is precisely why I asked. It's not quite accurate for the Godfather of Soul. I turned in the chart then wondered "I wonder how people will interpret that"? What I was really thinking about was the "Living in America" feel.

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I would consider Living in America to be some of James Brown's "less" funky music (aside from the odd ballad). It grooves but doesn't hit hard like what would be considered real funk.

 

It's not even close to The Payback, Mother Popcorn, Make it Funky, Hot Pants and Super Bad.

 

YMMV

 

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I would consider Living in America to be some of James Brown's "less" funky music (aside from the odd ballad). It grooves but doesn't hit hard like what would be considered real funk.

 

It's not even close to The Payback, Mother Popcorn, Make it Funky, Hot Pants and Super Bad.

 

YMMV

 

What popped in my head was the tempo and the brass.

 

If someone asked me to pick one person that personified Funk for me, I would say George Clinton.

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