Con Funk Shun

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Con Funk Shun
Candy album cover.jpg
Background information
Origin Vallejo, California, United States
Genres R&B, funk, soul
Years active 1969–1987
Labels Mercury, Fretone

Con Funk Shun is an American R&B and funk band popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Influences include James Brown and Sly & the Family Stone.

History[edit]

The band was formed by a pair of high school students in Vallejo, California, drummer Louis A. McCall Sr. and Lead singer/guitarist Michael Cooper. The two put together a group that 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 singer/multi-instrumentalist Felton Pilate came on board. The band got their start as a backup group for the Soul Children under the name Project Soul. They began working with Stax Records staff songwriters, and while recording at Audio Dimensions, a Memphis, Tennessee sound studio, producer Ted Sturges both named the group (after an instrumental recording by The Nite-Liters) and produced their first album, Organized Con Funk Shun.

In 1976, Con Funk Shun signed to Mercury Records, releasing 11 albums over a span of 10 years. The group's 1977 LP, Secrets, was certified gold in the US, as were 1978's Loveshine, 1979's Candy, and 1980's Spirit of Love.[1] They scored a string of top ten hits on the US Billboard black singles chart, including 1977's "Ffun" (#1), 1978's "Shake and Dance with Me" (#5), 1979's "Chase Me" (#4), 1980s "Got to Be Enough" (#8), and "Too Tight" (#8). Tensions from within the group built over the 1980s, and the group's last album, Burning Love, was recorded without songwriter and vocalist Felton Pilate. After leaving Mercury, the original band members ceased performing and recording as Con Funk Shun in 1987. As recently as 2013, their 11 Mercury Records albums, along with "Greatest Hits", and "Best Of Con Funk Shun" albums continue to be remastered and released digitally.

Legacy[edit]

Con Funk Shun continues to receive airplay on US soul radio stations that play music of the 1970s and 1980s. Additionally, their back-beats have been repeatedly sampled by later artists in Hip Hop, R&B, and rap. Most recently, "Honey Wild", (written by Louis McCall; his wife, Linda Lou McCall; and Danny Thomas), from their 1980 Spirit of Love album was sampled by Lil Wayne for his CD Tha Carter III - Deluxe Edition. In 1996, Dru Hill covered the song "Love's Train" on their self-titled début album which was produced by Keith Sweat. Jason Mraz has performed "Ffun" on numerous occasions during his live performances as well. The song "That's What Love Can Do" by Boykrazy, heavily samples "Too Tight".

Born in Alameda, CA, Con Funk Shun founder and drummer, the name of the late Louis A. McCall Sr. was chosen by the City Planning Board in April 2014 to be used to name one of the streets in the proposed residential community Alameda Landing. On September 21, 2014, the seven band members will be honored by the National R&B Music Society with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Louis' wife, Linda Lou McCall, will also be given an Unsung Heroine award for her continued work on behalf of her husband and his band.

Members[edit]

Classic Line-up[edit]

Later Members[edit]

  • Melvin Carter - keyboards, lead vocals (appears on the 1986 Burnin' Love album)

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Organized Con Funk Shun (1973), Fretone
  • The Memphis Sessions (1973), Fretone
  • Con Funk Shun (1976), Mercury
  • Secrets (1977), Mercury
  • Loveshine (1978), Mercury
  • Candy (1979), Mercury
  • Spirit of Love (1980), Mercury
  • Touch (1980), Mercury
  • 7 (1981), Mercury
  • To the Max (1982), Mercury
  • Fever (1983), Mercury
  • Electric Lady (1985), Mercury
  • Burnin' Love (1986), Mercury


Singles[edit]

  • "Clique" (1974)
  • "Sho Feels Good To Me" (1977) - #66 R&B singles
  • "Confunkshunizeya" (1978) - #31 R&B
  • "Ffun" (1978) - #1 R&B, #23 Pop singles
  • "Shake And Dance With Me" (1978) - #5 R&B, #60 Pop
  • "So Easy" (1978) - #28 R&B
  • "(Let Me Put) Love on Your Mind" (1979) - #24 R&B
  • "Chase Me" (1979) - #4 R&B
  • "Da Lady" (1980) - #60 R&B
  • "By Your Side" (1980) - #27 R&B
  • "Got To Be Enough" (1980) - #8 R&B, #20 Club Play
  • "Happy Face" (1980) - #87 R&B
  • "Bad Lady" (1981) - #19 R&B
  • "Lady's Wild" (1981) - #42 R&B
  • "Too Tight" (1981) - #8 R&B, #40 Pop, #25 Club Play
  • "Ain't Nobody, Baby" (1982) - #31 R&B
  • "Straight From The Heart" (1982) - #79 R&B
  • "Baby I'm Hooked (Right into Your Love)" (1983) - #5 R&B, #76 Pop
  • "Ms. Got-The-Body (1983) - #15 R&B
  • "Love's Train/You Are The One" (1983) - #47 R&B
  • "Don't Let Your Love Grow Cold" (1984)- #33 R&B
  • "Electric Lady" (1985) - #4 R&B, #32 Dance Sales
  • "I'm Leaving Baby" (1985) - #12 R&B
  • "Tell Me What You're Gonna Do" (1985) - #47 R&B
  • "Burnin' Love" (1986) - #8 R&B; UK #68[2]
  • "She's a Star" (1986) - #80 R&B
  • "Throw It Up, Throw It Up" (1996) - #84 R&B

References[edit]

  1. ^ Search for "Con Funk Shun" performed at RIAA.com on Dec. 10, 2007.
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 117. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]