The Founders of Funk: A Documentary

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

A documentary about the founders of the funk music genre and how they created a new style of music.

George Clinton

As the self-proclaimed “P-Funk All-Stars”, Parliament-Funkadelic (which Clinton led) was one of the most acclaimed and influential bands of the 1970s. Their music was a blend of science fiction, social commentary, and psychedelic visuals. Clinton’s work with Parliament-Funkadelic was a major influence on the development of hip hop music.

His childhood

George Clinton was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina, on July 22, 1941. He was the first child of Naomi and Ollie Clinton, and his sister, Nancy, was born three years later. The family soon moved to Plainfield, New Jersey. George’s father Ollie worked in a factory that made nun chukkas; his mother Naomi worked as a maid. His parents were both devout Baptists, and they brought George and Nancy up in the church. As a child, George loved music and he loved to dance. He would often sneak out of the house to go to the local clubs where he would dance all night long.

When George was ten years old, his mother died suddenly of a heart attack. His father Ollie could not cope with the loss of his wife and he turned to alcohol to deal with his grief. This had a profound effect on George and Nancy, who were left to fend for themselves. As a result of his father’s drinking, George Clinton began experiencing serious financial difficulties. In order to make ends meet, he started selling heroin.

His work with Parliament-Funkadelic

George Clinton is an American musician, widely considered one of the pioneers of funk. He was the mastermind behind the bands Parliament and Funkadelic during the 1970s and early 1980s, and was a solo artist with a fascinating back-catalogue in his own right.

Clinton’s work with Parliament-Funkadelic was characterized by an eccentric blend of R&B, soul, pop, rock, and psychedelia, often laced with humorous lyrics. The band’s stage show was often outrageous, and they were known for their elaborate costumes and performative antics. Clinton’s work with Parliament-Funkadelic was extremely influential on subsequent generations of musicians, and he is widely considered to be one of the most important figures in funk music.

Bootsy Collins

Bootsy Collins is a musician and songwriter who was a member of James Brown’s band in the 1960s. He is considered to be one of the founding fathers of funk music. He has played with some of the most famous musicians in the world, including George Clinton, Parliament-Funkadelic, and Bootsy’s Rubber Band. He has released dozens of solo albums and is considered to be one of the most influential bass guitarists of all time.

His childhood

Bootsy was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 26, 1951. The youngest of eight children, Collins had a tough childhood. His father, an alcoholic who was often absent, would beat his mother when he came home drunk. Despite the violence, his mother instilled in her children the importance of music. “She’d say, ‘You might not have a daddy to tuck you in at night, but you have the gift of music,'” Collins recalls. “That’s what saved me.” When he was five years old, his brother Phelps “Catfish” Collins introduced him to James Brown. It was love at first sight. “I knew from then on that’s what I wanted to do,” he says.

His work with Parliament-Funkadelic

In October 1970, George Clinton was arrested for possession of marijuana. As a result, he temporarily lost custody of his five children. Collins helped Clinton by taking care of the children and allowing them to live with him and his wife. Collins also took on the role of temporary bass player for Parliament-Funkadelic while Clinton dealt with his legal troubles.

After Clinton was released from jail, he and Collins reconvened Parliament-Funkadelic. The band recorded their 1971 album Maggot Brain in just three days. The album is widely considered one of the best funk albums ever made. Collins can be heard on the title track, “Maggot Brain,” which is widely considered one of the greatest bass lines ever recorded.

Collins’ work with Parliament-Funkadelic helped to establish him as one of the premier bass players of the 1970s. He continued to work with both Parliament and Funkadelic throughout the decade, appearing on classic albums such as One Nation Under a Groove (1978) and Unfunky UFO (1977).

Roger Troutman

Roger Troutman was a legendary musician and one of the founding fathers of funk. He was a brilliant multi-instrumentalist and his work with his band, Zapp, was groundbreaking. This documentary tells the story of his life and his music.

His childhood

Roger Troutman was born on November 29, 1951, in Hamilton, Ohio. The fourth of five sons, he was named after his father, who was a factory worker. His father died when Roger was just four years old. His mother worked two jobs to support her family. Despite their struggles, she instilled in her sons a love of music. All five boys learned to play instruments and sang in the church choir. When he was eleven years old, Roger received his first guitar as a Christmas present from his brothers. He quickly developed a passion for the instrument and began teaching himself to play by ear.

As a teenager, Roger formed a band with his brothers Larry and Lester. They called themselves Troutman Enterprises and began playing at local clubs and colleges. In 1970, they recorded their first album, entitled With Love. The album was not commercially successful, but it attracted the attention of influential R&B producer George Clinton. Clinton invited the band to tour with him and they soon caught the attention of record labels. In 1976, they signed with Warner Bros. Records and released their self-titled debut album.

His work with Zapp

Roger Troutman was an American musician, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work with the group Zapp, who helped pioneer the subgenre of funk music known as the Ohio sound. As a solo artist, Troutman also worked in the genres of R&B, soul, and Hip Hop.

Troutman’s distinctive “Talk Box” sound can be heard on numerous chart-topping hits including: “more Bounce to the Ounce”, “Dance Floor”, “I Want to Be Your Man”, and “I Wanna Be Your Man”. He also frequently collaborated with other artists such as: Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, Dr. Dre, Bootsy Collins, and Busta Rhymes.

Troutman was shot to death in April of 1999 after an altercation with his brother at his Los Angeles recording studio. He was posthumously inducted into the Ohio Music Hall of Fame in 2007.

The legacy of these artists

Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, and Sly Stone were the masterminds behind the unique and profound sound of Funk. This documentary tells their stories and the story of how Funk came to be. These artists were innovators, trendsetters, and social commentators who used their music to change the world.

Their influence on music today

The founders of Funk created a new style of music that would go on to have a profound influence on both the world of popular music and the culture at large. Even today, the legacy of these artists can be heard in the work of some of today’s most popular musicians.

The documentary explores the origins of Funk and how it came to be such an important and influential style of music. Featuring interviews with some of the genre’s most iconic figures, including George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, and Questlove, The Founders of Funk offers a rare and intimate look at the people who created this truly unique style of music.

Similar Posts