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We Want The Funk

On June 1, 206 I recorded a conversation with one of the pillars of my village, Mr. Phillip Bass. Ironically, the day I interviewed him he had learned of the passing of one of his friends. I wanted to share a blog post that I wrote after I interviewed him in honor of Black History Month. Here is the link to the original video that was recorded via Periscope - forgive the bad video and audio:

Rest in Peace Mr. Bass.

I'm proud to say that my daddy is a Funketeer.

If you don't know what that is, go listen to The Ohio Players, Roger Troutman, Prince or other funk music and educate yourself. This music makes you groove - all good music makes you feel something. Music is knit into the fabric of our lives. Bring on the funk! You can hear music in every genre playing from my father's porch from early morning until late at night. Music seeps through the streets and seems to catch people by the ear arresting their attention. No matter who you are, there is a song on a CD somewhere Daddy can play that will cause you to reminisce, dance, cry or tell a story. He should have been a DJ. I think wherever he goes, there is a soundtrack playing for him. Growing up I didn't always understand the lyrics of every song but now that I have lived a little, music awakens memories and pieces of me that can't be ignored. All of my siblings and have a connection to music and I'm thankful to my parents for that appreciation and acculturation. Now my nine year old daughter has a musical repertoire as diverse as her Grandparents. My husband and I heard her playing a funk music radio station on Pandora while she was in the bathroom so we had to have her change that but she changed it to Micheal Jackson! How could she not love good music with a family of musicians and music lovers on both sides of her family tree? As a Scribe Coach I teach my clients that Scribes record history. This weekend I had the opportunity to record some history about Funk Music. One of Daddy's good friends and fraternity brothers knew The Ohio Players and was able to join them in creating good funk music. My sisterfriend <ia and I interviewed Mr. Phillip Bass, a close family friend. In casual conversation Kia asked if we had heard the news of the passing of Marshall Jones, one of the members of the Ohio Players. Mr. Bass had not, he got upset and started calling friends to confirm the news. When he was satisfied that it was true, he started to tell us his experience with The Ohio Players and we chose to record him. Kia is a Motivational Blogger with a passion for intimate partner violence and youth development. Our daughters wanted to participate so you will see them in the background and hear them. I have transcribed the interview just in case you can't hear.
Introduce yourself to the people. Mr. Bass: I am Phillip Bass better known as "Flip", and my state name is Hot Foxx. I was on the 1984 Ohio Players Graduate Album. What is Funk Music? A combination of soul, blues, jazz, and it dominated the airways in the middle seventies to the early nineties. After that it was used frequently by rap stars. It is seen in backdrops of hip hop music and groups. Where did your passion for funk music come from? We grew up in Dayton during an era where we experienced R & B. The Ohio players were started in 1959. I saw them for the first time when I was fifteen in 1965. I got stuck on what they were doing. The music at that time was called R & B and jazz. From there, there was an explosion that happened in Dayton. We had 33 local groups between 1965 and 1975. We had 19 national acts. In Dayton we were considered the funk capital of the world. We had more acts per capita in the city than any other city in the world. I was happy to be a part of that. I came up in high school with a group called The Majestics. Three of the original Majestics joined with the Original five Ohio Players. The guy who played drums with me played drums with the Ohio players. I was always kind of a tag a long while I was going to college, grad school and once I got out the Ohio Players were millionaires by then. I was able to maintain my relationship with them. I started to write in the late seventies. I formed my own group and wrote my own songs. In 1984 Marshall Rock Jones, who just passed away on May 26, 2016 invited me to have a tune placed on the Graduation album. I was flattered that the tune was on side one. This album was featured in the Afro American Museum highlighting funk in Dayton. How would describe funk music to people of this generation who may not know what it is? Funk music is very emotional. When it comes on your neck starts to pop and your body will start to move. Either your foot is going to start to toe tap or your big toe is going to bump up against your shoe. You will find yourself standing or dancing in your seat. It is an American art form. Just like blues, R & B and a progression into funk music. We had 150 people from Dayton Ohio who were involved in these various groups. Dayton, Ohio has a lot of history in the music industry like Roger Troutman, Shirley Murdock, Slave, Zapp, Lakeside, Heatwave, Sun, Dayton, The Ohio Players We see seasons change. How has funk music changed the era of music? Rap is the strongest motivation of music today. It drives product, t.v., radio. Funk is the backdrop of that. It is an expression of freedom and a form of rebellion. We were able to write and produce our own music. It came out labeled later as funk. In Hamilton and Cincinnati “Bootsie” Collins otiginated. James Brown joined the King Label in Cincinnati. Sugar Foot joined a label in Dayton as a teenager and the Ohio Untouchables played behind Robert Ward. Funk not only was in Dayton, it spread after it hit Dayton to other places. People thought the groups were from Cleveland, Cincinnati or Columbus but they were from Dayton and we were proud of that. Final words I look forward to documenting my involvement with the development of music in Dayton and funk and my association with the Ohio Players and other groups. I encourage others to write their memoirs and record their history. Dayton Metro Library opened a new branch and the Dayton Funk History is being exhibited. I encourage anyone to visit that library. Who makes good funk Music? Those of us who made funk are older, if we went out tonight to see the funk there is nobody currently out there. There is a band called The Funk All Stars who represent what we did in the past but there aren’t as many groups around Dayton currently. We want to keep young musicians and singers interested in our history. Let’s go back and pick up our past and see what’s next for the future. Is there an artist you enjoy? We all have to pay tribute to Prince. He put colors on the funk and ballots but he was a Funketeer. The Ohio players are still touring. If you see Zapp you can see some funk. Charlie Wilson is out there and Cameo. Thank you Mr. Bass! Well Scribes, get to uncovering and recording some history. I'm going to get in my groove with some good music. Unpluckable Me,

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