Grammy Winning Bassist Larry Fulcher – The Origins of Funk

This was recorded in July 2009.

(I’m trying to decide what to do with over 100 episodes of my old radio show. I uploaded most of them to this blog, years ago, but the podcasting app doesn’t work anymore. So, most of the episodes are not available to listen to. Finding the audio on my computer and uploading all of that content again for a radio show that is more than 10 years old sounds a bit nuts. I need to think about this some more.)

I interviewed Mike Finnigan from Crooks and Liars about six months ago.  Mike is a great piano/Hammond B-3 organ player, and we talked about Miles Davis and the 50th anniversary of Kind Of Blue.  After that interview, I asked Mike if we could chat about some other aspects of music.  He was very agreeable.  Unfortunately, when I decided to do a show on the origins of Funk, Mike was busy.  He told me he was touring with Joe Cocker!!!  He said that he had a friend in Texas, a bass player who would be perfect.  Mike was right. Larry Fulcher was/is perfect.  Larry has recorded with Smokey Robinson, Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, and the Crusaders, just to name a few.  He has won two Grammys playing with Taj Mahal.

We begin the show by talking about the death of Michael Jackson and how very important he was to the music business.  Michael was truly loved worldwide. 

We then begin talking about Funk.  Funk is all about the bass and the drums.  Everything started with James Brown.  I play “Livin’ in America,” “Sex Machine” and “Cold Sweat” as examples of James’ music.  Sly and the Family Stone is next up.  Sly’s bassist was a man named Larry Graham.  Graham, like many of the bassists whom we talk about, came out of gospel music.  Wanting more of a percussive sound, he began playing the bass with his thumb since there was no drummer.  Larry did form his own group called Graham Central Station.  I play a tune called “Hair” that has one of the best bass lines I have ever heard.  We then go back to James Brown and talk about Bootsy Collins who started playing with James Brown when he was just a teenager.  Bootsy Collins became the sound that was Parliament, the group that is most associated with Funk. (!)  Part one ends with the Ohio Players and their tune “Skin Tight.”

This is a great interview.  This is part one, and part 2 is here.


| Political Podcast & Blog | Asheville News & Sports | Errington Thompson
| Political Podcast & Blog | Asheville News & Sports | Errington Thompson
Grammy Winning Bassist Larry Fulcher - The Origins of Funk
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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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