Tag Archives: queens of funk

Queens of Funk: Brides of Funkenstein

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Today’s history of Funk lesson is about the Brides of Funkenstein – Dawn Silva and Lynn Mabry. Silva and Mabry were backup singers for Sly and the Family Stone before joining the P-Funk family.  George Clinton named the band to go along with his Dr. Funkenstein character. I guess you could say their marriage was drenched in funk.

Brides of Funkenstein were the opening act for P-Funk, as well as the backing vocals for P-Funk. They recorded three albums but only two were released. In the absence of Silva, their second album, Never Buy Texas From a Cowboy, recorded with Sheila Horne and Jeannette McGruder. It was probably their most popular album. It should be – it brings the funk.

 

 

 

Brides of Funkenstein on Spotify

Brides of Funkenstein on Facebook

Queens of Funk: Mavis Staples

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Artwork by Jude Kane/ Freakoutville; © Copyright Jude Kane

 

Mavis Staples can do what she wants. She wanted to sing and there’s almost no one better.  She’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Staples has also been a Kennedy Center Honoree.

She’s still singing and writing music. Her newest album, If All I Was Was Black, was released last year. This year, she collaborated with Hozier on “Nina Cried Power.” God willing, she will always want to sing.

Bob Dylan proposed to her but I guess she didn’t want to get married so she didn’t.

 

Mavis Staples website

Freakoutville on Facebook

Queens of Funk: Millie Jackson

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Millie Jackson is sassy. Sassy may be an understatement. If you hear her music, you will not forget who she is.

Her career began when someone dared her to enter a talent contest. She won the contest and the bet.

I didn’t know who Millie Jackson was before this year. I had heard one of her songs but I thought it was Gladys Knight. Their voices are so similar.

Jackson’s songs are funnier and naughtier than Knight’s. She is funnier than most people.

She’s not one to be ignored or pushed aside. Jackson started her own record company and had her own radio show for many years.

Weird Wreckuds website

Millie Jackson on Spotify

Queens of Funk: Chaka Khan

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Chaka Khan on Jimmy Kimmel Live. I’m almost 100% sure that the guitarist is Ricky Rouse.

Can you name anyone else in the band Rufus? I’d be willing to bet that people know Chaka Khan and draw a blank when asked who else is in the band. Rufus is a great band but Chaka Khan stole the show.

 

I love Chaka Khan. I love her so much that when I saw in concert, I went as close to the stage as I could get – almost to the fence. Normally, I hang out in the back. Not this time. I was so close that I could see the color of her eyeshadow. Of course, my camera was broken – I didn’t find out until later- so I don’t have pictures. The experience is still mine and no one can take it from me.

Several phones ago, “Tell Me Something Good” was the ringtone that told me that my boyfriend was calling. My co-worker used to laugh and say “Tell- Me -Something -Good is texting you again.”

My friend had a friend named Chaka Khan Jones. I was never brave enough to name my kids Chaka Khan.

Anyway, if you get a chance to see Chaka Khan live and in person, do not hesitate to go. She’s amazing and will probably obliterate your eardrums.

 

 

 

Queens of Funk: Betty Davis

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It’s only been in the last year that I have read about and listened to Betty Davis. She is phenomenal. According to some people, she was Madonna before Madonna. Davis may have even out-Madonnaed Madonna.

Apparently, people weren’t ready for such a free-spirited, independent, sexy lady of Funk. Her concerts were boycotted and picketed. It’s a shame because no one should miss out on Betty Davis because of pettiness. No one probably boycotted any of her male counterparts who were doing the same thing.

In everything that I’ve read about her, three things usually are mentioned 1. She was married to Miles Davis. 2. She introduced Miles Davis to Jimi Hendrix. 3. She wrote her own music.

Betty Davis was a force of nature and a musical genius in her own right.

 

Betty Davis on Spotify