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Con Funk Shun

con_funk_shun_jpeg_2013_4112631_std

American rhythm and blues group

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Con Funk Shun (formerly known as Project Soul) is an American R&B and funk band whose popularity began in the mid-1970s and ran through the 1980s. They were influenced by funk legend James Brown and Sly and the Family Stone. Signed to Mercury Records in 1976, Con Funk Shun enjoyed a decade of successful national and overseas tours, eleven chart-topping albums, and numerous hit singles. The group formally disbanded in 1986.[1]

History

The band began in 1969 as "Project Soul", formed by Louis A. McCall Sr. (drums/percussion/vocals) and Michael Cooper (rhythm guitar/lead vocals), both of whom were high school students in Vallejo, California.[1] By 1971, the band also included bassist Cedric Martin, keyboardist Danny "Sweet Man" Thomas, trumpeter Karl Fuller, and woodwinds player Paul "Maceo" Harrell. Soon thereafter, this fledgling group's classic lineup became complete when lead vocals/multi-instrumentalist Felton Pilate came on board.

In 1971, the seven musicians formed a new band, calling themselves "Con-Funk-Shun", after a song by the instrumental ensemble the Nite-Liters. They relocated to Memphis, Tennessee in 1973 when they were hired to back up Stax Records artists the Soul Children. There, they came to the attention of Estelle Axton who signed them to her "Fretone Records" label. Their début album, Organized Con Funk Shun, was released in 1973.[2] In 1975 the band’s name was altered from "Confunkshun" to "Con Funk Shun" by Louis’ wife Linda Lou McCall who also handled the marketing and public relations. They went to Japan for performance in 1975.

In 1976, Con Funk Shun signed to Mercury Records, and then went on to release eleven albums over a span of ten years. The band's 1977 album, Secrets, was certified gold in the United States, as were the 1978 album Loveshine, the 1979 album Candy, and the 1980 album Spirit of Love.[3] They scored a string of top ten hit songs on the U.S. Billboard black singles chart, including "Ffun" (No. 1 in 1978), "Shake and Dance with Me" (No. 5 in 1978), "Chase Me" (No. 4 in 1979), "Got to Be Enough" (No. 8 in 1980), "Too Tight" (No. 8 in 1981), "Baby, I'm Hooked (Right into Your Love)" (No. 5 in 1983), and "Electric Lady" (No. 4 in 1985).[4]

Tensions from within the group built over the 1980s, and the band's final album, Burning Love, was recorded without multi instrument-vocalist and songwriter Felton Pilate.[1] After disappointing album sales, Mercury invoked its "key member clause" and dropped the band from the label. Michael Cooper then moved on to a solo run[1] with Warner Bros. Cooper had an R&B hit with "To Prove My Love" in 1987. The remaining original members tried to continue, but repeated efforts with new lead singers fell short, and they ceased performing and recording as Con Funk Shun in 1987.

Later years

Pilate became the in-house record producer and songwriter for M.C. Hammer and his record label Bust It Records. He worked on several albums for the company, including Hammer's Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em album, as well as the bulk of Special Generation's 1990 début album, Take It to the Floor. Lead singer Michael Cooper embarked on a successful career as a solo artist, releasing his solo début album Love Is Such a Funny Game on Warner Bros. Records in 1987, and releasing the 1989 album Just What I Like and the 1992 album Get Closer on Warner Bros.' sister label Reprise Records.

As recently as 2013, their eleven Mercury Records albums, along with their Greatest Hits and Best of Con Funk Shun albums, continue to be remastered and released digitally.

In 2015, the More than Love album was released. Three of the original band members, Michael Cooper, Felton Pilate and Karl Fuller, currently tour as Con Funk Shun.[5] In March 2017, they celebrated their 45th anniversary as a band with four sold-out shows at Yoshi's in Oakland, California.[6]

Legacy

As the late Louis A. McCall Sr. was born in Alameda, California, his name was chosen in April 2014 by the Alameda City Planning Board to be used for one of the street names in the proposed residential community, Alameda Landing.[7]

On September 21, 2014, the seven band members were honored by the National R&B Music Society with a Lifetime Achievement Award, at a black tie dinner and award ceremony in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[8][9]

In 1996, the R&B group Dru Hill covered Con Funk Shun's "Love's Train" for their eponymous debut album. The song was also covered in February 2022 by R&B duo Silk Sonic.[10]

Band members

  • Michael Cooper
  • Karl Fuller
  • Paul "Zebulon" Harrell
  • Cedric Martin
  • Louis A. McCall, Sr. (deceased)
  • Felton Pilate
  • Danny "Sweet Man" Thomas
  • Eric "EQ" Young
  • Ron Moton
  • Melvin Carter

Discography

Albums

Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Record label
US Pop
[11]
US R&B
[12]
1973 Organized Con Funk Shun Pickwick
The Memphis Sessions Fretone
1976 Con Funk Shun Mercury
1977 Secrets 51 6
1978 Loveshine 32 10
1979 Candy 46 7
1980 Spirit of Love 30 7
Touch 51 7
1981 7 82 17
1982 To the Max 115 9
1983 Fever 105 12
1985 Electric Lady 62 9
1986 Burnin' Love 121 25
2015 More Than Love 20[13] Shanachie
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Singles

Year Title Peak chart positions Record label
US Pop
[14]
US R&B
[15]
US AR&B
[16]
US
Dance

[17]
UK
[18]
1974 "Clique" Fretone
1976 "Sho Feels Good to Me" 66 Mercury
1977 "Confunkshunizeya" 31
"Ffun" 23 1
1978 "Shake and Dance with Me" 60 5
"So Easy" 28
1979 "(Let Me Put) Love on Your Mind" 24
"Chase Me" 4
1980 "Da Lady" 60
"By Your Side" 27
"Got to Be Enough" 8 20
"Happy Face" 87
1981 "Bad Lady" 19
"Lady's Wild" 42
"Too Tight" 40 8 25
1982 "Ain't Nobody, Baby" 31
"Straight from the Heart" 79
"Love's Train" / "You Are the One" 47
1983 "Baby, I'm Hooked (Right into Your Love)" 76 5
"Ms. Got-the-Body" 15
1984 "Don't Let Your Love Grow Cold" 33
1985 "Electric Lady" 4
"I'm Leaving Baby" 12
"Tell Me What (I'm Gonna Do)" 47
1986 "Burnin' Love" 8 68
"She's a Star" 80
1996 "Throw It Up, Throw It Up" 84 Intersound
2014 "Your Night" 21
2015 "I Miss You" 26
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

References

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  1. ^ a b c d .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit;word-wrap:break-word}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .citation:target{background-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133)}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg")right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#3a3;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}Lytle, Craig. "Artist Biography - Con Funk Shun". AllMusic. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  2. ^ "Organized Con Funk Shun". AllMusic. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Con Funk Shun". riaa.com. RIAA.
  4. ^ "Con Funk Shun Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography". Music VF. Retrieved January 22, 2022.
  5. ^ Ulibas, Joseph. "Con Funk Shun are on the road with a new album to boot". www.axs.com. Archived from the original on February 3, 2018. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  6. ^ Kirsch, Matthias. "Con Funk Shun". ginalovesjazz.com. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  7. ^ Boitano, Dave (April 29, 2014). "Navy loses battle over street names". The Alamedan. Archived from the original on August 12, 2020. Retrieved February 5, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ "Past Honorees: 2014 Black Tie Gala & Honorees". rnbmusicsociety.
  9. ^ "National R & B Society 4th annual black tie gala, award ceremony" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 5, 2015.
  10. ^ Doria, Matt (February 14, 2022). "Silk Sonic celebrate Valentine's Day with cover of Con Funk Shun's 'Love's Train'". NME. Retrieved March 5, 2022.
  11. ^ "Con Funk Shun: Billboard 200". billboard.com. Billboard. Archived from the original on October 15, 2019.
  12. ^ "Con Funk Shun: Billboard Top Soul Albums". billboard.com. Billboard. Archived from the original on October 15, 2019.
  13. ^ "Confunkshun: Billboard Top R&B Albums (Note that this LP charted on Billboard's Top R&B Albums chart instead of Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.)". billboard.com. Billboard. Archived from the original on October 15, 2019.
  14. ^ "Con Funk Shun: Billboard Hot 100". billboard.com. Billboard. Archived from the original on February 21, 2020.
  15. ^ "Con Funk Shun: Billboard Hot Soul Songs". billboard.com. Billboard. Archived from the original on October 15, 2019.
  16. ^ "Con Funk Shun: Billboard Adult R&B Songs". billboard.com. Billboard. Archived from the original on October 15, 2019.
  17. ^ "Con Funk Shun: Billboard Dance Club Songs". billboard.com. Billboard. Archived from the original on October 15, 2019.
  18. ^ "Con Funk Shun - full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company.

External links

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source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Con_Funk_Shun

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