Con Funk Shun: The Music Artist You Need to Know

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Con Funk Shun is an American funk band that was popular in the 1970s and 1980s. The band’s name is a combination of the words “confusion” and “funk”.


Con Funk Shun is an American R&B and funk band formed in Vallejo, California in 1968. The group had seventeen Top 40 hits on the Billboard R&B singles chart. Con Funk Shun found success with a string of hit songs in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including “Ffun,” “Shake and Dance with Me,” and “Got to Be Enough.”

The members of Con Funk Shun include: Felton Pilate (vocals, bass), Louis McKinney (vocals, guitar), Karl Fuller (keyboards), Cedric Martin (drums), Paul Harrington (percussion), and Danny Thomas (saxophone).

Con Funk Shun’s music is a mix of R&B, funk, and disco. The band is known for its tight musicianship, strong vocals, and danceable songs. Con Funk Shun’s music has been featured in movies and television shows such as The Big Chill, Queen Sugar, and Insecure.


Before they were known as Con Funk Shun, the R&B and funk band was originally called Project Soul. The band was formed in 1968 by high school friends Louis A. McCall and Michael V. Cooper in Vallejo, California. Despite going through several lineup changes, the band has managed to stay together for over 50 years.

The Early Days

Con Funk Shun was formed in Vallejo, California in 1969 by high school students Michael Cooper and Louis A. McCall, Jr., with Cedric Martin, Paul Harrell, Karl Fuller, and Danny Thomas. The group’s name was a combination of the words “conscious” and “funky,” which reflected their commitment to creating positive, uplifting music.

The band began performing at local clubs and dances, and quickly developed a following in the Bay Area. In 1971, they self-released their first single, “Ffun,” which became a regional hit. This success led to a recording contract with Merc Records, and the release of their debut album, Con Funk Shun (1972).

Con Funk Shun found wider success with their next two albums, Ain’t Nothin’ But a Party (1975) and Secrets (1977). These records spawned the hit singles ” Shake and Dance With Me,” “Chase Me,” and “Love’s Train.” The group’s popularity continued to grow throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, with the release of additional albums such as Loveshine (1978), Too Tight (1979), spirits (1980), Funkentelechy VS The Placebo Syndrome (1977), and Seventh Heaven (1981).

Con Funk Shun achieved their greatest mainstream success with the single “Ffun” in 1982. The song reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it the highest-charting single of the band’s career. They followed up this success with another Top 40 hit, “Burnin’ Love,” which reached #34 in 1983.

Despite their commercial success, tensions within the band began to rise in the mid-1980s. This led to a series of lineup changes, and Con Funk Shun disbanding in 1986.

The Mainstream Success

By 1976, Con Funk Shun had scored their first R&B hit with “Ffun.” The party-friendly number reached the top 20 of the R&B charts and crossed over to pop, becoming a top 40 hit. It was the first of several charting singles the band would release over the next few years, including “Shake and Dance with Me” (1977), “Chase Me” (1978), and “Got to Be Enough” (1979). These songs helped make Con Funk Shun one of the most popular bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The Music

If you love Funk Music, then you need to know about the band, Con Funk Shun. This group was formed in the early 1970s and is still touring and making music today. They have a unique sound that is a mix of R&B, soul, and funk. Con Funk Shun has been cited as an influence by many modern-day funk artists.

The Sound

Con Funk Shun, often abbreviated as CFS, is an American R&B and funk band whose popularity began in the mid-1970s and continued through the 1980s. The band was formed in Vallejo, California in 1969 by high school students Louis A. McCall and Cedric Martin. They were later joined by felow high school students Karlton Humes (bass), Paul Harrell (keyboards), Michael Vann Gilliam (drums), Danny Locklin (guitar), and Francis J. role (congas). The band’s name is a play on the word “confusion”.

The group signed with Mercury Records in 1976 and released their self-titled debut album the following year. They scored their first hit with the single “Ffun”, which peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was included on their second album, Too Tight (1977), which was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). From 1978 to 1982, Con Funk Shun released six albums, all of which were certified gold or platinum by the RIAA. In 1980, they had two top 10 hits on the Hot 100 with “Shake and Dance With Me” and “Got to Be Enough”.

The group disbanded in 1986 but reunited in 1990 for a reunion tour. They have continued to tour sporadically over the years while maintaining a large fan base.

The Influences

Con Funk Shun was one of the most successful recording acts of the 1970s and early 1980s. The group was originally from Vallejo, California, and its members were high school friends who bonded over a shared love of music.

The group’s sound was a mix of R&B, funk, and soul, and their music was heavily influenced by Parliament-Funkadelic, James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, and other artists of that era. Con Funk Shun’s biggest hits include “Shake and Dance with Me,” “Ffun,” “Sweet Thing,” and “Chase Me.”

The group disbanded in 1986, but reunited in the mid-1990s and continues to tour and perform today. If you’re a fan of old-school R&B or funk, then you need to check out Con Funk Shun!

The Legacy

Though largely inactive since the early 1990s, the group Con Funk Shun is an important part of both the history of funk music and black popular music in America more broadly. The band was part of a second wave of funk groups that came to prominence during the 1970s, following in the footsteps of legends like James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic. Con Funk Shun helped to keep the funk sound alive during a time when disco was beginning to take over the pop charts.

The Impact on Funk Music

Formed in Vallejo, California in 1968, Con Funk Shun became one of the most electrifying and successful acts to come out of the Bay Area funk music scene. The band’s sound was a mix of R&B, soul, and funk that was sometimes compared to that of Parliament-Funkadelic. Con Funk Shun’s music was also featured in movies like “Car Wash” and ” Battlestar Galactica,” and the group toured with acts like Earth, Wind & Fire and The Isley Brothers.

Con Funk Shun’s impact on the funk music genre is still felt today. The band helped to shape the sound of modern funk music, and their influence can be heard in the work of contemporary artists like Bruno Mars and Janelle Monáe. If you’re a fan of funk music, then you need to know about Con Funk Shun.

The Influence on Today’s Artists

One could make the argument that Con Funk Shun was one of the most important bands of the ’70s, despite never really receiving their proper due. The group’s gilded, polished take on classic funk served as a template for countless musicians that followed in their wake, both in terms of sound and showmanship. As a result, Con Funk Shun’s musical legacy remains evident even today, some four decades after they first began making music together.

Though they never reached the same levels of commercial success as some of their contemporaries, Con Funk Shun was nevertheless a hugely influential group, particularly on today’s artists. Many modern artists have cited the band as an influence, and their sound can be heard in the music of contemporary groups like Bruno Mars and Janelle Monáe. In fact, it could be argued that without Con Fun Shun’s trailblazing work, much of today’s pop music simply wouldn’t exist.

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