Carnegie Mellon University

"Tales From the Land of Funk: Dayton, Ohio and African American Funk Bands in the 1970s"

Dr. Scot Brown, CAUSE Postdoctoral Fellow, 2016-17

Friday, April 7, 2017
Steinberg Auditorium, Baker Hall A53
4:30pm - Reception
5:00-6:30pm - Lecture and discussion

Dr. Scot Brown

Funk is a musical style that peaked in commercial popularity during the late 1970s through the early 1980s. Black self-contained bands were the dominant artistic unit associated with this genre. The city of Dayton, Ohio was home to an extraordinarily large number of Black bands signed to major record labels during this period: The Ohio Players (Westbound and Mercury), Slave (Cotillion/Atlantic), Steve Arrington’s Hall of Fame (Atlantic), Lakeside (SOLAR), Roger and Zapp (Warner Bros.), Sun (Capitol), Faze-O (S.H.E./Atlantic), Aurra (Dream Records and Salsoul), Platypus (Casablanca), Dayton (Liberty/Capitol), Shadow (Elektra) and Heatwave (Epic). These groups emerged out of a Black public sphere and predominantly working class community. Drawing from his work-in-progress, Dr. Scot Brown (CAUSE Fellow) explores the complex relationships between local socio-economic and political conditions, and the plight of Black self-contained bands in the broader marketplace of popular music.