Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

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The ‘funky drummer’ has died

Clyde Stubblefield, drummer for soul and funk legend James Brown, wielded the sticks in 1970 on a largely instrumental tune called Funky Drummer, a solo from which would go on to be one of the most sampled bits of music ever. He has died at age 73.

From the Guardian (“James Brown’s Funky Drummer Clyde Stubblefield dies at 73“):

His wife, Jody Hannon, said Stubblefield died of kidney failure at a Madison, Wisconsin, hospital around noon. He had been suffering from kidney disease for 10 years, and had been hospitalised for a few days, she said.

Stubblefield performed on several of Brown’s classics in the 1960s and early 70s, including Cold Sweat, Say It Loud I’m Black and I’m Proud, I’ve Got the Feelin’, and the album Sex Machine.

But he was best known for a short solo on Brown’s 1970 single, Funky Drummer. Rolling Stone magazine said it was sampled on over 1,000 songs and served as the backbeat for countless hip-hop tracks, including Public Enemy’s Fight the Power, Dr. Dre’s Let Me Ride, LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out and Run-D.M.C.’s Run’s House.

It even turned up on Ed Sheeran’s Shirtsleeves and George Michael’s Freedom ‘90, the magazine said.

Hannon said Stubblefield saw “very little” in royalties and never expected them.

But Stubblefield was held in high esteem by his fellow musicians. When Prince got wind in 2000 that Stubblefield was deep in debt from a fight against bladder cancer, he personally paid $90,000 to cover his bills, she said. “Clyde was considered his favorite drummer,” she added.

At 5:24 in (or thereabouts) in the version of Funky Drummer below, you can hear the solo in its natural element:

Sat, February 18 2017 » Main Page, Minutiae, Music Monday et al