Bernie Worrell, 1944-2016

Late on Friday I heard the news that keyboardist Bernie Worrell, who most famously was a keyboard player and arranger for Parliament and Funkadelic, passed away from stage 4 lung cancer at the age of 72. Besides playing for P-Funk and creating many signature sounds and keyboard licks that would be recycled by rap groups years later, he also played with the Talking Heads during the 80s and was featured on the albums Speaking In Tongues and Stop Making Sense.

For the purposes of this blog, he also co-wrote, arranged and played keyboards on the theme song for the blog, but his greatest and most lasting musical contribution may have been the synthesized bass line he created for “Flashlight,” one of Parliament’s biggest hits. So in his honor, I have featured that classic song in this post. It was so influential, it inspired much of the G-Funk west coast hip-hop sound of the 90s.

RIP, Mr. Worrell. 2016 has been unkind to musicians this year.

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