James "Plunky" Branch

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James "Plunky" Branch is an African-American performer, songwriter, and music and film producer. He is known for his participation in the band Plunky & Oneness, which began as Juju in 1971 and was renamed twice (Oneness of Juju, Plunky & the Oneness of Juju) before it was given its current name in 1988.[1] Branch is the president and founder of the independent record label N.A.M.E. Brand Records, through which he has released 25 albums. He has worked as a studio musician for The Cosby Show and has appeared on several avant-garde jazz albums.[citation needed] He has been Director of the Jazz Ensemble at Virginia Union University as well as an instructor of Afro-American Music History at Virginia Commonwealth University.

One of Plunky & Oneness's songs, "Every Way But Loose", is featured on the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, playing on fictional radio station Paradise FM. In 2006 Plunky released the solo album Cold Heat, which featured the single "Drop."[2]


Branch has received two NEA Jazz Fellowships and was appointed to the Governor’s Task Force for the Promotion of the Arts in Virginia. In 1999 he was recognized by Richmond Magazine as Musician of the Year for 1999.[citation needed]


With Plunky & Oneness[edit]

  • 1973: A Message From Mozambique (Strata-East Records)
  • 1974: Chapter Two: Nia (Strata-East)
  • 1975: African Rhythms
  • 1976: Space Jungle Luv[3]
  • 1977: Bush Brothers & Space Rangers
  • 1982: Every Way But Loose
  • 1984: Electric JuJu Nation
  • 1996: X Marks the Spot
  • 1998: Groove Tones
  • 2000: Saxy Mellow Moments[4]
  • 2001: ...Got to be Phunky[5]
  • 2002: Got to Move Something
  • 2004: Forever In A Moment
  • 2006: Live in Paris
  • 2012: Collectors Box Set

Solo Discography[edit]

  • 1988: Tropical Chill
  • 1990: Move Into The Light
  • 1992: One World One Music
  • 2006: Cold Heat[6]
  • 2008: Drive It
  • 2010: Plunky On fire


  1. ^ Kergan, Wade. "Oneness of Juju (biography)". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  2. ^ "Jazz man J. 'Plunky' Branch reaches millions of fans via syndicated urban radio talk and music show". Chicago Defender. December 17, 2007. Retrieved July 20, 2016 – via Highbeam. 
  3. ^ Marsh, Peter. "BBC - Music - Review of Oneness of JuJu - Space Jungle Luv". Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  4. ^ "Saxy Mellow Moments - Plunky & the Oneness of Juju (review)". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  5. ^ Cummings-Yeates, Rosalind. "Got to Be Phunky... - Plunky & the Oneness of Juju (review)". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  6. ^ "PLUNKY "Cold Heat" N.A. ...". The Washington Post. June 29, 2007. Retrieved July 20, 2016 – via Highbeam.