The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

funk :: Blog

Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)"

Wednesday, February 22: 2:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Parliament's "Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)" is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock

1997 Hall of Fame inductee George Clinton, the mad genius of funk, launched his assault on music business-as-usual late in the 1960s with a short-lived but seminal R&B quintet called the Parliaments. As writer and producer, Clinton bent the group's post-Motown sound in a direction as smart as it was quirky. The Parliaments officially dissolved after one 1970 album and a major contractual problem; but Clinton, with an eye to the freak flags flown by Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, recreated the group as a band of outsiders complete with their own lingo, costumes, myths, and philosophy ("Free your mind… and your ass will follow"). Transforming himself into Dr. Funkenstein, Clinton cooked up a funk feast that spiked James Brown's gritty gumbo (much of it provided by original Brown musicians like Bootsy Collins, Fred Wesley, and Maceo Parker) with heavy doses of psychedelia, and a dash of rock and roll.  No one sounded like Parliament except Funkadelic, a virtually identical group Clinton signed to another label and encouraged to be even more eccentric. Touring "together" with up to 40 members as "A Parliafunkadelicment Thang," the bands became one of the most successful black concert acts of ...

continue Categories: Inductee, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Concert Radar

Tuesday, November 15: 10 a.m.
Posted by Terry Stewart
Paul Simon / Photo by Mark Seliger

The next few weeks include three don't-miss concerts: 

Paul Simon

2001 Hall of Fame inductee Paul Simon will be at the University of Akron's EJ Thomas Hall on Wednesday, November 23. Simon's latest album, So Beautiful Or So What, is his first album since Surprise in 2006, and has earned expansive critical acclaim. The album continues a tradition of delivering original songs that reflect the veteran songwriter's eclectic influences. Note that Cleveland's own award-winning world percussionist and drummer, Jamey Haddad, will be on stage in his long running role as percussionist in Simon's band, helping negotiate the varied rhythms found on So Beautiful – and beyond – for a live audience.

Paul Simon - "Getting Ready For Christmas Day" (from So Beautiful Or So What)


Falling close on the heels of Simon's show is an incredible funk lineup at PlayhouseSquare's State Theatre on Saturday, November 26: The Mary Jane Girls featuring Val Young, "Mister Cool" Morris Day and the Time ("Girl," "Jungle Love") and Cameo, whose 1986 album Word Up! produced two certified funk hits in the title track and ...

continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Event

Remembering the Creole Beethoven: Wardell Quezergue

Wednesday, September 7: 1 p.m.
Wardell Quezergue

We were saddened to learn about the passing of the “Creole Beethoven,” Wardell Quezergue, yesterday in New Orleans. Quezergue, 81,  was one of the giants of New Orleans music – one of those folks who is responsible for so many great, funky records that define the city’s distinctive rhythm and blues. He arranged countless classics: Professor Longhair’s “Big Chief,” The Dixie Cups’ “Iko Iko,” King Floyd’s “Groove Me,” Jean Knight’s “Mr. Big Stuff,” and Dorothy Moore’s “Misty Blue,” to name just a few. In 1992, he did the arrangements for Dr. John’s “little history of New Orleans music,” Goin’ Back to New Orleans. He also co-wrote “It Ain’t My Fault,” a staple of New Orleans’ brass bands. In 2000, he released the extraordinary A Creole Mass, a “prayer of Thanksgiving” that he began writing while stationed in Korea. He had been pulled from the front line to work as an arranger for the army band. His replacement was killed in action. He finally completed the work, a masterpiece for orchestra, chorus, brass band and vocals.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Education Director Jason Hanley and I had the honor of meeting ...

continue Categories: American Music Masters

Knee-Deep in Funk with George Clinton

Monday, August 22: 1 p.m.
Posted by Howard Kramer
He's got the funk: George Clinton

On July 30, I hosted a Hall of Fame Series interview with George Clinton, founder and leading light behind Parliament and Funkadelic, who treated a sold-out audience in the Museum's Foster Theater to stories and insights he's gathered during his singular career.

One of the most creative individuals in music, Clinton was very generous in talking about his youth in New Jersey, his move to Detroit and the long gestation of Parliament and the birth of Funkadelic.

Clinton likened his role in Parliament-Funkadelic to that of a jazz bandleader working with different musicians from session to session, though recording under a single moniker. For decades, Clinton has been an innovative maestro, the visionary leading a rotating cast of musicians that is the Parliament-Funkadelic family.

Each time The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has an Inductee share his or her story as part of the live Hall of Fame Series, there are moments that really take the event to another level – and this event was no exception. The conversation got deep when we were joined on stage by several members of the group, including Lige Curry, Michael “Clip” Payne, and inductees “Billy Bass” Nelson and Michael ...

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