Legendary musicians to be inducted in hall of fame during funk weekend in Dayton

Legendary musicians will be inducted as the first class of a long-anticipated Dayton-based hall of fame.

The Ohio Players' lineup from 1970 to 1978, the late James Brown and George Clinton & the Parliament Funkadelic will be installed in The Funk Music Hall of Fame and Exhibition Center 5:30 p.m.  Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Schuster Performing Arts Center, 1 W. Second St. in downtown Dayton.


It will be part of a three-day event that includes the Dayton Funk Symposium and Dance Party Thursday and Friday, Sept. 24 and 25, at the University of Dayton.

A funk-themed installment of the Dayton Philharmonic's Rockin' Orchestra is planned to start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Schuster Center.

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David Webb, the funk center’s CEO and founder, said admission costs are being determined.

Regarding the first inductees, Webb said James Brown is the godfather of R&B and funk and Dayton-based Ohio Players set the model for bands all over the world.

“George Clinton & the Parliament Funkadelic’s psychedelic funk took it to a whole other level,” he said.

Inductees will be invited to the reception, he said.

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— The Ohio Players’ hits include “Skin Tight” “Fire,” “Sweet Sticky Thing,” “Love Rollercoaster,” Funky Worm,” “I Want to Be Free” and “Pain.”

Credit: Theo Wargo

Credit: Theo Wargo

Clinton's hits include "Atomic Dog," "Do Fries Come with that Shake?" "(Not Just) Knee Deep" and "Erotic City."

With Parliament, his hits include “Bop Gun,” “Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop),” “Chocolate City” and “Up for the Down Stroke.”

Funkadelic songs include “One Nation Under a Groove,” “Maggot Brain” and “Freak of the Week.”

Credit: Gareth Cattermole

Credit: Gareth Cattermole

— Brown’s most popular songs include “It’s A Man’s World,” “The Payback,” “Papa Don’t Take No Mess,” “Ain’t it Funky Now,” “The Boss,” “Get Up Offa That Thing,” Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” “Please Please Please,”  “Say it Loud - I’m Black and I am Proud,” “Soul Power,” and “Funky Drummer.”

Brown died on Christmas Day in 2006.

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“It is going to be a great event,” Webb said. “This is huge. I am so excited.”


Funk artists from around the world are eligible for induction to the hall of fame, but Dayton has a special connection to the genre.

In the 1970s and 1980s, southwestern Ohio — particularly Dayton’s west side — was known for its stable of funk bands whose influence can be heard in hip-hop, house and other musical forms popular today.




The funk-themed Dayton Philharmonic's Rockin' Orchestra concert will kick off the series’ 2020-21 season.

“We play all kinds of music,” DPO Conductor Neal Gittleman said when the events were announced Jan. 18 at the PNC Arts Annex. “But we have never covered funk before. We are going to fix that. We will have a tribute to Dayton funk with Dayton Funk All-Stars backed up by the strings and hones of your Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra to make the biggest funk band in history.”

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Gittleman said Dayton funk legends will appear on stage during the event.


The funk center closed its doors at 113 E. Third St. last March due to a rent increase at the property located in the Fire Blocks district.

Organizers continue to seek a new home.

Sharon Davis Gratto, a UD music professor and arts and languages chair, said the hall of fame reception will serve partly as a fundraiser for the funk center.

It exposed Dayton area youth to the community’s musical legacy before closing and is deserving of a new home, Gratto said.

“There needs to be a crowd that’s standing up and saying this needs to be fixed,” she said.

Rickey Vincent, the author of “Funk: The Music, The People, and The Rhythm of the One” will be keynote speakers at the funk symposium.

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Funk historian Scot Brown, associate professor of African American studies at The University of California, Los Angeles, will also attend the conference.

There is a call for idea proposals from other  funk music scholars and practitioners. 

Dayton DJ Stan “The Man” Brooks of Soul Dayton Radio will DJ the Friday dance party.

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