Archive for the ‘Funk’ Category
Posted by themusicsover on April 21, 2016
Prince Rogers Nelson
June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016
Prince was his given name, and that’s all he needed to become one of the most well-known, influential, innovative and gifted musicians, songwriters, singers, producers, and performers pop music has ever known. Born and raised in the Minneapolis area, Prince would eventually come to represent what was known as the Minneapolis sound – a marriage of funk, rock, synth pop, new wave, and dance. He released his first album, For You, in 1978 and what followed was an astonishing run of 39 albums over the course of 35 years. Some double, and even triple, albums. But it was 1984’s soundtrack to his film, Purple Rain, that first sent Prince into the stratosphere. It was his first album to top the Billboard album charts and went on to sell a staggering 13 million in the US alone. Purple Rain is often regarded as one of the top five greatest albums ever made – of any genre. He was far from done though, as he went on to be recognized with 32 Grammy nominations, winning seven throughout his career. In all, Prince scored four #1 albums in the US, and an additional 12 landed in the Top 10. As a performer, there were very few who could match him when it came to captivating his audiences. That was put on international display when he did the Super Bowl Halftime show in 2007. As torrential rains hammered the stage like no other time in Super Bowl history, Prince took the storm and made it his stage prop to gloriously add an exclamation point to his final song, “Purple Rain.” Rumor has it that when the show’s director asked out of concern what they should do to protect him, the band, and the dancers from being electrocuted, Prince replied, “can you make it rain harder?” Since 2014, Prince released four new albums, and legend has it that he has enough finished material in his vault to keep releases coming for years if not decades to come. Whether they will ever see the light of day is debatable. On April 21, 2016, Prince was found unconscious in an elevator within his studio complex, Paisley Park. Attempts to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead on the scene. He was just 57. Cause of death was not immediately known, but foul play or suicide were not initially suspected.
What You Should Own
Posted by themusicsover on February 4, 2016
December 19, 1941 – February 4, 2016
Maurice White was the founder and co-lead singer of the highly influential R&B band, Earth, Wind & Fire. Formed in Chicago in 1969, the band went on to sell over 100 million albums, making them one of the most successful bands of the 20th century. For over four decades, the group dazzled audiences around the world thanks in part to their dynamic horn section and energetic live shows. White was born in Memphis, Tennessee and gravitated toward music at an early age along with childhood friend, Booker T Jones. As a teenager, White moved to Chicago where he found work as a session drummer for the legendary label, Chess Records. He played on numerous records by the likes of Etta James, Muddy Waters, the Impressions, and Buddy Guy. In 1966, he joined Ramsey Lewis Trio with whom he recorded nine albums and received his first Grammy for the single, “Hold It Right There.” Three years later, he formed Earth, Wind & Fire and went on to produce most of the their albums. In all, the group earned six Grammys along with countless other awards and accolades. During the ’80s, White was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Due to that, he ultimately retired from touring in 1994, but continued to oversee the band’s business side while producing their records and those by others. His most notable successes outside of Earth, Wind & Fire were releases by the Emotions and Deniece Williams. The stunning list of other collaborators includes Barbra Streisand, Weather Report, Neil Diamond, and Minnie Riperton. Maurice White was 74 when he passed away on February 4, 2016. Cause of death was not immediately released but likely attributed to his long battle with Parkinson’s.
What You Should Own
Posted in Composer, Disco, Funk, Musician, Pop, Producer, R&B, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Barbra Streisand, Booker T. Jones, Buddy Guy, Deniece Williams, Earth, Etta James, Maurice White, Minnie Riperton, Muddy Waters, Neil Diamond, Ramsey Lewis Trio, The Emotions, The Impressions, Weather Report, Wind | Comments Off on Died On This Date (February 4, 2016) Maurice White / Founder of Earth, Wind & Fire
Posted by themusicsover on June 9, 2013
Darondo (Born William Pulliam)
DOB Unknown – June 9, 2013
Darondo was a San Francisco funk and soul singer who found his career reignited during the late 2000s thanks to a few key film and TV song placements and reissues of his early recordings. Although not a household name, Darondo is considered one of the greats of ’70s soul by those in the know. With a flair for style and a somewhat unique and soulful voice, Darondo was a cult hero at best since he started making records during the ’60s. By the early ’70s, Darondo’s career seemed to be taking off. He opened for Sly Stone and somehow earned enough money to drive around in a lavish Rolls Royce complete with a bar, hot plate, phone, and table that slid out of the trunk. Some swore he was a pimp, which he has always denied, although he generally dressed the part. In 1973, he had a minor hit with “Didn’t I,” following which his career stalled thanks in part to legal disputes with his then-manager. But the song (and Darondo’s career) began picking up steam for a comeback when a London DJ started playing it in 2008. Fans of Breaking Bad might remember hearing it over the opening credits during the “Cancer Man” episode of the first season. Darondo’s songs have also been featured in such recent films and television programs as Saint John Of Las Vegas, Life On Mars, Night Catches Us, and Jack Goes Boating. Much of Darondo’s music has been lovingly compiled or re-released by Omnivore Recordings and Ubiquity/Luv N Haight Records. Darondo was 67 when he died of heart failure on June 9, 2013.
What You Should Own
Posted by themusicsover on April 23, 2013
September 13, 1954 – April 23, 2013
James “Creeper” Vasquez was a Minneapolis drummer who cut his teeth playing in several funk and soul groups that populated the Twin Cities during the 1970s. During his late teens, Vasquez helped form Band of Thieves with Napoleon Crayton and Donald Breddlove. It was Band of Thieves and such contemporaries as the Valdons that went on to influence the likes of Prince and Morris Day who introduced the Minneapolis funk and soul scene to a world-wide audience a decade later. Band of Thieves released just one self-titled album before disbanding. In 2012, Vasquez was all but retired from the music industry when Secret Stash Records released Twin Cities Funk & Soul: Lost Grooves From Minneapolis/St. Paul (1964-1979). To celebrate the release, the label put together The Secret Stash Soul Revue which included Vasquez on drums. He continued to play throughout the area with his former band mates until his passing. On April 23, 2013, James Vasquez died of pancreatic cancer. He was 58.
Thanks to Eric Foss at Secret Stash Records for the assist.
What You Should Own
Posted in Funk, Musician, R&B | Tagged: Band Of Thieves, Donald Breddlove, James "Creeper" Vasquez, Morris Day, Napoleon Crayton, Prince, The Valdons | Comments Off on Died On This Date (April 23, 2013) James “Creeper” Vasquez / Minneapolis Funk Drummer