On Saturday, Sept 26th as a part of the 2nd Dayton Funk Symposium held at the University of Dayton, The Funk Music Hall of Fame & Exhibition Center will induct its first class of inductees into The Funk Music Hall of Fame – James Brown, George Clinton & the Parliament Funkadelic and The Ohio Players. As pioneers of a musical genre which came to life during the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, these artists created a cultural form of expression that allowed Black musicians to speak freely about African American social and cultural life.
Brown, Clinton and The Ohio Players are Funk pioneers who attributed to the birthing of the different forms of the Funk genre such as P-Funk, Jazz-Funk, Fusion Funk and Electro Funk just to name a few. Today we celebrate those who brought it to life by forever remembering their wonderful legacies as our first inductees.
James Brown, “The Godfather of Soul”, can also be called “the Founding Father of Funk.’ His famous song, “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud!” was an anthem that placed Funk music as part of the cause to advance Black pride and empowerment. Brown is not only known for his contributions to social change, he is also noted for creating the then funky new sound called “On the One!” – the defining beat of Funk music that distinguishes it from other genres. He will always be remembered as the musician who developed this signature groove emphasizing the downbeat. His unique style remains recognizable in the music of countless musicians who have adopted his Funky sound. His songs, “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” and “Soul Power” caused Funk and Soul music to become deeply connected to the issues surrounding urban black communities and racial injustice. All in all, his lyrics instilled confidence, pride and awareness among Black Americans.
George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic Funkadelic is the visionary leader of a large collection of musician groups including, Parliament & Funkadelic, Brides of Funkenstein, and Parlet. Also, he opened the door for Bootsy Collins’ Bootsy’s Rubberband. Clinton created the cultural art form known as P-Funk which included many kinds of expressions including a fashion revolution, distinctive album cover art, and cartoon characters. Who can forget Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic outfits that made Funk the ultimate psychedelic experience. His musical contributions prompted many R&B acts to adopt Funky types of dress sampling not only his music but his eccentric funky style. P-Funk is James Brown’s sound with an outer space underwater out of this world touch that leaves dancers with two fingers up and a thumb on the side on the dance floor.
Last but not least, we choose to recognize our own The Ohio Players, Dayton Ohio from (Westbound Records to Mercury Records). All of the bands from this city and surrounding areas — Faze-O, Lakeside, Sun, Heatwave, Dayton, Platypus, Slave, Roger and Zapp and many, many others – drew inspiration from the success of The Ohio Players. They were Dayton’s first band to reach gold and platinum status with worldwide album sales. This pioneering band bridged Funk with jazz, and rhythm and blues. It’s horns, chords, high-pitched harmonies and iconic lead voices, solidified the Funk sound. Amazing artist like Junie Morrison’s voice on Pain, and Funky Worm as well as Sugarfoot’s “Owl Gerl” exemplify the sweet sounds of Funk!
Please join The Funk Music Hall of Fame & Exhibition Center, by welcoming these phenomenal artists as their first inductees. Stay tuned for details on the Induction ceremony.