George Clinton: A Funkin’ Legend

George Clinton: A Funkin’ Legend

George Clinton is a living legend. A pioneer of FUNK, his contributions to music parallel James Brown, Rick James, Sly Stone and Prince. The bands Parliament; Funkadelic and the P-Funk All Stars, packaged as three, are essentially one – and on par with FUNK collectives such as Earth, Wind & Fire, The Ohio Players, War, Cameo and Kool & the Gang.

George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic tour 200 days out of the year, around the globe, selling out venues in Europe, Asia, Africa and the U.S.. Audiences are comprised of his friends, fans and FUNK-A-TEERS built for over forty years, as well as those witnessing his show for the first time.

The genre of FUNK is the foundation for today’s Rock-n-Roll, commonly known as Hip-Hop. FUNK music is constantly and consistently being sampled and revamped in new and thriving popular releases. Classic songs from the most prominent artists of FUNK are historic in advertising, and are currently being featured in spots for automobiles, credit cards, food and TV shows.

Parliament’s “We Want the Funk,” taken from the “Mothership Connection” album, is now in spots for Pringles snacks and MasterCard commercials.(See my FUNK Ads Up to $ – Part Deux blog entry).

Spike Lee is developing a biopic about the life of James Brown. One of the most respected and talented filmmakers in Hollywood, Lee’s choice to do a film about “The Godfather of Soul,” is a defining moment in the validation of FUNK.

George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars hit the road again at the end of the month. Beginning on June 20th in Chicago, he’ll hit Colorado, Buffalo & Verona New York, Detroit, Ohio, Toronto, Canada, Delaware and Connecticut throughout July. The Mothership lands in Englewood, NJ at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, New Jersey on the legend’s 68th birthday.

BIOGRAPHY

The following is modified from George Clinton’s website http://www.georgeclinton.com/site. George Clinton, born July 22, 1941, is an American musician and the principal architect of P-Funk. He was the mastermind of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic during the 1970s and early 1980s, and began his endeavors as a solo funk artist as of 1981. He has been called one of the most important innovators of funk music. Clinton is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he was inducted in 1997, along with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. George was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina, and grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey. In Plainfield, he managed a barber salon, where he cut and styled hair. It was there where he formed a doo-wop group, inspired by Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, it was the creation of The Parliaments. During the same period of time in the early 1960s, Clinton was a staff songwriter for Motown Records. The Parliaments eventually found success under the names Parliament and Funkadelic in the 1970s. These two bands combined elements of bands and musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone, Cream and James Brown, while exploring different sounds, technology, and lyricism. Members of Brown’s band The JB’s like Bootsy Collins and Fred Wesley, even played with Parliament-Funkadelic.

In 1982, Clinton signed to Capitol Records as a solo artist and as the P-Funk All-Stars, releasing “Computer Games” that same year. The song “Loopzilla” was a Top 20 hit on the R&B charts. The follow-up single “Atomic Dog,” peaked at Number-1 on the R&B Billboard chart, reaching 101 on the pop chart. In the next four years, Clinton released three more studio albums: “You Shouldn’t-Nuf Bit Fish,” “Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends” and “R&B Skeletons in the Closet,” in addition to a live album titled, “Mothership Connection (Live from the Summit, Houston, Texas).” It was during this period, his songs “Nubian Nut,” “Last Dance,” and “Do Fries Go with That Shake?,” were released. In 1985, he was recruited by the Red Hot Chili Peppers to produce their album “Freaky Styley,” because the band members were huge fans of George Clinton and funk in general. Clinton, in fact, wrote the vocals and lyrics to the title track, which was originally intended by the band to be an instrumental piece. The album was not a commercial success at the time, but has since sold several copies after the Chili Peppers became popular years later. Though Clinton’s popularity had waned by the mid 1980s, his presence resurged in the early 90s, as many rappers cited him as an influence and began sampling his songs. Dr. Dre’s samples of Parliament-Funkadelic’s music are the essence of its success. Alongside James Brown, George Clinton is considered to be one of the most sampled musicians ever.

In 1989, Clinton released “The Cinderella Theory” on Prince’s record label, Paisley Park.  A few years later, Clinton signed with Sony 550 and dropped his CD “T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. (The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Mothership)” in 1996, upon reuniting with several old members of the Parliament and Funkadelic bands. Clinton founded his own record label, The C Kunspyruhzy in 2005.  In 2008, George appeared on the reality show “Gone County” Season 3, where seven celebrities move into a Nashville mansion and compete to cross over into the country music scene. His Gone Country experience, gave birth to his country song “Time Is,” which was released on his C Kunspyruhzy label in 2008. Clinton’s latest album “George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love,” is on the Shanachie label. Largely a covers album, ‘Gangsters of Love’ features guest appearances from Sly Stone, El DeBarge, Red Hot Chili Peppers, RZA, Carlos Santana, gospel singer Kim Burrell. George and Sly have even done shows together in recent years. George currently resides in Tallahassee, Florida. For more on George Clinton, log on to http://www.georgeclinton.com/site.

Please continue to join me in celebrating and paying tribute to the accomplishments of George Clinton and all those who have been instrumental in the creation, innovation, realization and preservation of FUNK, by becoming a member of this website.

Peace
c-dub

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