Sunday, 7 August 2016

The Story Of Funk: 3. From P-Funk To G-Funk

BBC Radio 6 Music broadcast: 15th July 2016

From the 1960s through to the present day funk music reverberates all through popular culture. Whether it's in fashion, street language, TV, the movies or pop music the far reaching influence of funk is everywhere. Pam Grier concludes her funk odyssey. She's been a fan of the music since she starred in the so-called Blaxploitation movies of the 1970s. Back then, funk was not only the soundtrack to her films but also to a vital time in American history. It was a time of self-discovery, struggle and social change. Funk music reflected all of that.

In this final part, Pam reveals how the scene started its inevitable decline. While funk bands such as Earth Wind and Fire could lay claim to being one of the largest acts in the world, by the end of the 1970s the beat changed. Disco music took over as the dance-floor music of choice and funk bands either joined the party or disappeared. It wasn't until the emergence of hip-hop that the music was introduced to a younger generation via record producers who sampled the old funk classics. The advance of music technology also helped a new electro-funk scene develop with a certain Prince Rodgers Nelson leading the way.

Pam also examines the often overlooked female funkateers including one of the genre's hidden gems, Betty Davis.

The series features contributions from Earth Wind & Fire, Kool & the Gang, Sly & the Family Stone, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, P-Funk musicians, Average White Band, Cameo, Clyde "Funky Drummer" Stubblefield, Charles Wright, The Last Poets, Beverley Knight, Matt Fink, Acid Jazz's Eddie Piller and rapper Shock G.

First broadcast in 2011.

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