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Hawk’s Friday Funk for March 5, 2010

Back in the mid-60s, Slyvester Stewart, a radio DJ in San Fransisco, assembled a local group of musicians and started producing some cool tunes that appealed to local youth, the heart of the burgeoning hippy scene.  It wasn’t long after he started that James Brown dropped Cold Sweat on the world and along with it, a new feeling in music that would be dubbed funk.

Sly Stone as he was known jumped on the groove right away in 1967 and started putting out his own brand of funk.  Everybody’s heard 1968′s anthemic “Dance to the Music”, probably Sly and the Family Stone’s biggest hit.   “Sing a Simple Song”, “I Want to Take You Higher” and “Stand” were not far behind.   Then in 1970, bassist Larry Graham developed his own brand of bass plucking and put it to use on the tune “Thank You Falletin Me Be Mys Elf Again.”

“Thank You Falletin Me” never made it onto an LP at the time but it did well as a single and would of course be included on later Greatest Hits LPs.   Sly and the Family Stone would put out a few more records including the fantastic LPs “There’s a Riot Going On” (1971), “Fresh” (1973) and “Small Talk”.  Sly would release a great solo effort in 1975 titled “High on You” before largely dissappearing from the scene.  He’d put out a couple more forgettable records in the late 70s and tour with Parliament Funkadelic for a bit before disappearing for good.

That is, until the last couple of years when he’s been sporadically showing up on stage with his old buddy George Clinton.   I was actually going to post the original “Thank You Falletin Me” from 1970 but then came across this funky live performance of the tune from last year.   Sly’s still a bit on the strange side but he clearly still has a great sense of solid funk.