“Give the drummer some” grunted James Brown on one of his signature hits, Cold Sweat. That drummer, who was crucial in helping Brown create a whole new genre (funk) in the late 60s, was Clyde Stubblefield – a true Rock and Roll Joe. One of the most influential drummers in rock history, and probably the most-sampled, is largely unknown so Rock and Roll Joe wants to give the drummer some.
Stubblefield was in James Brown’s band for only about 5 years but he played on many iconic hits at a time when Brown was changing the face of rhythm and blues. In addition to Cold Sweat, Stubblefield played on monster hits like Mother Popcorn, Say it Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud and arguably the most famous drum break of all, Funky Drummer.
His rhythms were innovative and have become timeless as hip-hop artists have gone back to the Stubblefield well over and over again. Despite this amazing legacy, Clyde Stubblefield is not a well known name. Read this recent article in the New York Times for an interesting update on Stubblefield’s story. And then put on some of his music and try not to get up and dance.