Inspired back into action by moderating George Clinton ‘s talk at the Brooklyn Museum , I present the return of my RBMA Radio program “Across 135th Street.” This episode is entitled “George Clinton: Pre-Funk vs. P-Funk” and tracks Newark/Plainfield’s finest’s evolution from fledgling soul producer/writer to funk visionary – contrasting his early work in Detroit with the Parliaments and co-writers/arrangers/producers Pat Lewis, Mike Terry, Sidney Barnes etc. with later renditions of the same songs with the Funk Mob. My favorite example of this is probably Roy Handy’s “Baby That’s a Groove”/Funkadelic’s “Fish Chips & Sweat” (for reasons based primarily around the couplet: “Sweat was poppin’ off of my face/Fish and chips was all over the place”). For astute observers Clinton’s pen was already more subtly out during his Jobete years than the bulk of his peers, foreshadowing the experimentation to come. If you’re in the U.S. the show premieres on RBMA Radio today – Saturday, June 27th, 2015 at noon . Listen in here . The rest of the planet can listen on-demand below. As per usual read on for more info and in lieu of a playlist hit up the gallery for art associated w/ each track. Enjoy!
Before launching his crew of mega-talented singers and musicians into the funk cosmos via p-funk’s musical excursions, George Clinton wrote and produced many a great unheralded 60s soul tune. Unheralded, that is, until several of these same compositions (initially recorded by the Parliaments and other performers on the fringes of Detroit’s Hitsville-dominated soul circuit) would enjoy revival in far more overtly bugged (and heavily amplified) form as Parliament – Funkadelic favourites. On the latest episode of Across 135th Street, host-selector Chairman Jefferson Mao A/B’s these tracks in a set appropriately dubbed “Pre-Funk vs. P-Funk.” Listen and compare as the northern soul stomp of the Parliament ’s “Heart Trouble” is reinvented as the Cosmic Slop vocal round-robin of “You Can’t Use What You Can’t Measure,” Roy Handy’s randy Holland/Dozier/Holland-style paean to after hours recreation, “Baby That’s A Groove,” morphs into the trip-tastic Funkadelic b-side “Fish Chips & Sweat,” Pat Lewis’ resolute “I’ll Wait” is transformed into the classic mournful Eddie Hazel guitar shred showcase that is Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On ’s “I’ll Stay,” and so on. In each case the funkin’ lesson is how fundamentally sound these tunes remain in their evolutions from the Motor City to the Mothership.
CLICK THE THUMBNAILS ABOVE FOR ARTWORK FOR THE SONGS PLAYED IN THE SHOW