Back on February 18th, one of the best kept secrets of the many musicians employed by one James Brown passed away. Clyde Stubblefield, one of the great drummers who played behind Brown on a great many of his funky singles in the late 60s up to 1970, died at the age of 73. Stubblefield is best known for playing the most famous drum sample in hip hop history, the break found in the Brown song “Funky Drummer.”
While that break may be the most famous, he played on some other greats too, including one that I included in yesterday’s random mix post: the great version of “Give It Up Or Turn It Loose” found on the In The Jungle Groove album:
He also played on “Cold Sweat,” which I’ve featured previously on Funky Friday:
He can be heard on the great stop and go rhythm of “I Got The Feelin'”:
And of course, “Funky Drummer”: first a version with the famous sampled drum beat looped:
Now the full-length version:
Basically, if James called out to “give the drummer some,” Clyde Stubblefield was more than likely playing on the track. That’s not a slight to Brown’s other great drummer, John “Jabo” Starks, who kept the rhythm going on a lot of Brown classics through the early 70s. For a time, the two drummers played together on some of Brown’s songs.
Some great funk from James Brown, powered by Clyde Stubblefield, for your Friday. May you have a great day, and thanks for reading and listening.