I’m Calling Short Distance, Baby

I’ll be really honest with y’all today. I was out late last night and didn’t really get a chance to sit down and write today’s post. So I’ll keep it short and sweet—and funky.

The title lyric belongs to a song done by William Collins. You may ask, who is William Collins? For those that know, he is best known as “Bootsy.” Bootsy Collins has been a part of two of the greatest funk bands in history: first as a part of James Brown’s “new” J.B.’s, that replaced his first great band going into 1970, and then as part of the Parliament-Funkadelic (P-Funk) crew. Bootsy’s instrument was the bass, and could he play it. Two of his greatest examples form the basis for this post.

First, his playing on James Brown’s “Jungle” remake of his 1968 hit “Give It Up Or Turn It A Loose.” This whole song is funky and Bootsy cooks throughout, but wait for the breakdown at around the five minute mark when drummer James calls on drummer Clyde Stubblefield to pick the beat back up, and Bootsy provides that rock-solid bottom.

Once Bootsy left James Brown, he started working with George Clinton and his P-Funk groups. First by playing and helping to write songs, then eventually stepping out front of Bootsy’s Rubber Band. His first song as bandleader was “Stretchin’ Out (In A Rubber Band)” and featured him prominently on the bass, but also on vocals.

Here’s the debut single:

A salute to Mr. William “Bootsy” Collins, who has been one of the main purveyors of funk music for over forty-five years. I hope you enjoy today’s songs, and thanks for reading and listening.

15 Replies to “I’m Calling Short Distance, Baby”

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