I credit my brother for my occasional love of the groove.
Through the years I've gone crazy for Southern rock, New Wave, punk rock and classic rock. But all along I've had a taste for funky stuff, too.
Since college, I've gotten hooked on classic stuff ranging from James Brown and Funkadelic, to rap such as the Beastie Boys and Run-DMC and electronica by the likes of Gus Gus and Fujiya & Miyagi.
The stuff that laid down the base (and the bass) for me, though, was as follows.
My brother was into Billy Preston, who first gained fame as a session musician for the likes of Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and even The Beatles. In 1971 he released an album called I Wrote a Simple Song, which featured an instrumental called "Outa-Space," which won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
We had the 45 that featured that song, as well as the album's title track. My brother and I played the hell out of "Outa-Space," which, with its driving beat and amped-up, groovalicious keyboards just demanded such.
Here's a fantastic live performance of that song:
My brother -- Steve -- was also really into Kool & the Gang. While the band has become known over the years for "Celebration" -- the song known to wedding and high school reunion revelers all across the U.S. of A., it was their early- to mid-'70s stuff that we jammed on.
We had the 45's (well, I still do, which of course is why I'm writing this) for "Hollywood Swinging" and "Jungle Boogie," the latter of which was my favorite.
Check it out:
The next one I pulled out of the little pink box of 45's is one I'd forgotten about (there are a lot of those) is "For the Love of Money" by The O'Jays.
Watch this for the grooves and the moves, the clothes and the 'fros.
And finally, a song that never seems to go out of style, K.C. and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way I Like It."
Man, these guys are amped up, eh?