Charlie Wilson is without a doubt one of the best return to music stories in R&B. I won’t call it a comeback, cause he’s been here for years, with one of the FUNKIEST bands in the ‘80s – The GAP Band. Lionel Richie was down with the Commodores before his solo success, and today they both have songs, backing major brands.
James Brown’s biopic “Get On Up” hits theaters today. In the spirit of FUNK, I wanted to share an interview I did with him for those who might want to hear the actual voice, of “The Godfather of Soul.” Then I figured, why not include three other masters, of the FUNK genre. Having the honor to speak with these men were not only a highlight of my career in music, but in life, as they provided the soundtrack to it (click on photo above for full view).
Lenny is dropping his new album “Strut” on September 23rd! Rockin’ since 1989, his debut album, was “Let Love Rule.” I remember his then wife, Lisa Bonet, coming to visit us at WBLS to promote her man’s new music. We played it while she sat with us in the studio, and chatted about his musical vision, when NOBODY else did. Although his sound wasn’t traditionally that, of what one would hear on an R&B station, we supported him. We were ‘BLS, we played Queen and INXS – why? Because it was Dope!
As music fans, lovers and aficionados are perched and waiting for “Get On Up” and “Jimi: All Is by My Side,” one can’t help but think of musical biopics that have been previously released. This blog was prompted and inspired by a chat with, and query from my wife, as to how many films of this nature have been done — there are numerous. While many are excited for the lives of James Brown and Jimi Hendrix to grace the silver screen, the lives of other music icons have been brilliantly depicted. (click on photo above for full view)
As I was prepping the blog that will follow this one, it occurred to me that I had yet to create this list. Although I’ve done items on a few of them, as this outlet and website continues to grow, I wanted to pay homage to those that have shaped, inspired and influenced my view and love for film.
James Garner stood tall along side singers Joan Baez, group Peter, Paul & Mary, Odetta Holmes, Mahalia Jackosn and Bob Dylan, joining A-List actors Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster, Charlton Heston, Paul Newman & wife Joanne Woodward, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Diahann Carroll, Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne, Sidney Poitier, Maya Angelou, Josephine Baker, Sammy Davis, Jr., opera singer Marian Anderson, baseball legend Jackie Robinson and writer James Baldwin at the Civil Rights Movement’s “March on Washington.”
A lover of music, history and culture, film biographies or the biopic, have long been a favorite of mine. While there are a plethora of stories to be told about people of latter day, I’ve always been fascinated about the journey of people that made their mark on the world before I was born, or made an impression on me early on.
Five years ago at the inception of this Funkalicious blog, I talked about the value and use of FUNK in advertising. My intent was to show how influential FUNK still is today, although the epitome of the essence of FUNK, was 40 years ago.
On Monday, July 7th, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act. This action made the state of New York the 23rd in the union to legalize medicinal marijuana. Although the stamp of approval is restricted to non-smokable forms via pills, oils, or vapors, the legalization of cannabis across America’s 50 states continues.
I didn’t write a tribute or an obituary immediately after he died. Not that much time has passed in the greater scheme of things, but from the perspective of doing a news story or covering a current event, hence why this is a blog. Phillip was a Funkin’ good mutherFunkin’ actor, a thespian, a true artist… right down to the way he thought, his thought process.
The first year I started this blog, I wrote a poem for Mothers http://museumofuncutfunk.com/2009/05/20/funky-mothers-day/. I sent it out to all my friends that are moms via e-mail and made it my sixth blog installment. Earlier this week, an old friend of mine lost his dad, and another reminded me that Father’s Day was this Sunday. So I took time out to write a little something, in hopes it will allow “My Fellow Fathers” to have a better Monday.
Patti LaBelle is back on Broadway this month! Appearing in the stage production of “After Midnight,” she fills in where Vanessa Williams, Toni Braxton and Fantasia have all taken bows, opposite Dule Hill http://museumofuncutfunk.com/2014/02/25/vanessa-williams-funks-up-broadway-again/. Her run goes through June 29th at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
Recently my friend Gary Harris, who happens to be a former EMI A&R exec, has been criticized and bashed by several fans and other outlets on the web. One who introduced me to the music of D’Angelo back in 1992 prior to it’s release while I was at WBLS, he wrote an open letter to the artist, expressing a personal point of view.
The year is half-way over as summer is upon us. The first five months flew by to me, but since 2012, my thinking has been that 2013 & 14 are merely set-up and transitional for 2015. I don’t even know why I’ve thought that way, “it’s just a feeling I’ve got.” I personally moved to Boston this year and graduated from college last year, so perhaps it was just the transitions of my life that I foresaw.
Earlier this year, I had to put a friend up on the meaning of posthumous — I forget what I was referencing. According to Webster’s it means: happening, done, or published after someone’s death; born after the death of the father; published after the death of the author; and/ or following or occurring after death. For friends and fans of a music artist, posthumous is generally a dirty and undesirable word.
There’s a lot of new music out there! Now, all new music isn’t necessarily good or FUNKY, but here’s some that is… acknowledging “Ladies First”, out of the world of hip-hop, is Amethyst Amelia Kelly, better known by her stage name Iggy Azalea. An Australian recording artist and model from Mullumbimby, New South Wales, she’s got “It.”
Dr. Dre is about to get PAID! As the hoopla of Solange assaulting Jay-Z dies down, the glory of the first billionaire rap star is the talk of the town. Apple’s no dummy, they see kids – their employees – wearing Beats as opposed to the ear bugs they provide for their customers.
Last night was a historical one for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Headed by Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first African-American to hold the position, diversity was exemplary at the Oscars. Hosted by the Fabulous Ellen DeGeneres, the list of winners and nominees was multi-cultural as well as valid, in that they made poignant statements regarding sexual; age; gender; class; and racial discrimination. This was the best thing about the winners and nominees of this year’s ceremony.
Taco Bell is tired of Micky-D’s raking in all that breakfast dough. So they’ve decided to add breakfast food to their menu!!! While I’m sure there are several that are excited about a new fast food breakfast option, the stuff they’ll be selling, is not necessarily nutritious. I’ll let the menu speak for itself…
Vanessa Williams is headed to Broadway for the fifth time! On April 1st, she’ll begin her run with the production “After Midnight.” Williams made her Broadway debut starring in “Kiss of the Spider Woman” in 1994. Having seen the Oscar award winning film, there was no way I was going to miss her in that production, she was phenomenal.