DER US-AMERIKANISCHE SCHLAGZEUGER UND SONGWRITER GEORGE "FUNKY" BROWN (KOOL & THE GANG) IST GESTORBEN
18.11.2023 Der am 15. Januar 1949 geborene George "Funky" Brown (Bild), Mitgründer von Kool & The Gang, langjähriger Schlagzeuger und Co-Songwriter zahlreicher Hits der Jazz-, Funk-, Soul- und Disco-Band, ist am 16. November 2023 in Los Angeles gestorben. Er hatte an internationalen Erfolgen wie "Ladies Night", "Get Down On It", "Fresh", "Celebration", "Too Hot", "Jungle Boogie", "Summer Madness", "Open Sesame", "Cherish" und "Joanna" mitgeschrieben. Kool & The Gang haben weltweit mehr als 80 Millionen Alben verkauft, sie gewannen zwei Grammy Awards und sieben American Music Awards. 2018 wurden sie in die Songwriters Hall of Fame aufgenommen.
Bild: George Brown © Songwriters Hall of Fame, https://www.songhall.org/profile/george_brown
George Brown, co-founder, drummer, songwriter of Kool & The Gang best known for the worldwide hits “Ladies Night,” “Get Down On It,” “Fresh, Celebration,” “Too Hot,” “Jungle Boogie,” “Joanna,” died November 16, 2023 in Los Angeles, CA after a battle with cancer. He was 74.
In 1964, George “Funky” Brown and Ricky Westfield joined a young Ronald Bell and his brother, Robert “Kool” Bell, and neighborhood friends Spike Mickens, Dennis Thomas and Charles Smith to create a unique musical blend of jazz, soul and funk.
At first calling themselves the Jazziacs, the band went through various name changes -- The New Dimensions, The Soul Town Band, Kool & the Flames – before settling on their famous moniker Kool & the Gang. The band officially launched in 1969 and 54 years later the band has become true Funk, Soul, and R&B legends.
Brown has co-written many of the band's iconic songs including “Ladies Night,” “Too Hot,“ “Jungle Boogie,” “Summer Madness,” “Open Sesame,” “Celebration,” “Cherish” and others.
The band has earned two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, 25 Top Ten R&B hits, nine Top Ten Pop hits and 31 gold and platinum albums to date.
When asked to describe his music, Brown always replied with its “The sound of happiness.”
Brown’s signature drumming on the early Kool & The Gang recordings has been heavily sampled years later by countless artists across all genres ranging from the Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Cypress Hill, P. Diddy, DJ Kool, Mase, Too Short, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh prince, Boogie Down Productions, Brand Nubian, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, N.W.A., Kris’s Kross Jermaine Dupri and The Killers.
After a decade long hiatus from making new music, the band released "People Just Want To Have Fun" which Brown produced.
Brown also released his memoir in 2023, "Too Hot: Kool & The Gang And Me."
George ‘Funky’ Brown, Whose Uplifting Drums Held Down Kool & the Gang, Dead at 74
Aptly nicknamed “Funky,” Brown not only provided the backbeat to Kool & the Gang’s many indelible funk and disco era hits but also helped write them. Brown’s co-writing credits include favorites like “Ladies Night,” “Jungle Boogie,” “Celebration,” “Summer Madness,” and “Too Hot.”
And as much as those songs remain party classics, Brown’s drumming has remained a frequent presence in music thanks to the myriad Kool & the Gang samples across pop and hip-hop. Artists who’ve plucked those grooves include Jay-Z, Madonna, Nas, N.W.A. the Killers, Janet Jackson, the Beastie Boys, De La Soul, and A Tribe Called Quest.
Mr. Brown kept time for a group that combined funk, disco, R&B and jazz to create some of the most memorable pop songs of the 1970s.
The group’s songs often appeared on film and television soundtracks — Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” notably used “Jungle Boogie” — and remained staples on the radio into the 2020s
Born on Jan. 15, 1949, Brown was drawn to his instrument at an early age, drumming on household items with butter knives before he received his first drum kit. As he grew, he cultivated an appreciation for such jazz drummers as Art Blakey, Buddy Rich and Elvin Jones.
Brown lived in the same building as Ricky West, a keyboardist who introduced the drummer to saxophonist Ronald Bell and trumpeter Robert Mickens. The quartet started gigging as a jazz combo in the early 1960s and they retained the name Jazziacs after expanding the group to feature Ronald’s brother Robert “Kool” Bell on keyboards, Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas on saxophone and guitarist Charles Smith. As they played throughout New York City, they ran through a number of names, including the New Dimensions, the Soul Town Band — which was a moniker for their Motown covers act — and Kool & the Flames, before adopting Kool & the Gang in 1969.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine
George Brown, co-founding member and drummer of Kool & the Gang, dead at 74
At first calling themselves the Jazziacs in 1964, Brown – along with Ricky Westfield, Ronald Bell and his brother Robert “Kool” Bell, and neighborhood friends Spike Mickens, Dennis Thomas and Charles Smith – began making music together that melted jazz, soul and funk.
George Brown, Kool and the Gang drummer and co-founder, dies aged 74
The musician, known for co-writing hits such as Ladies’ Night and Celebration, died of lung cancer in Los Angeles.
In Brown’s memoir Too Hot: Kool & the Gang & Me, released earlier this year, he wrote about struggles with depression and prescription drugs. This past summer also saw the band release a new album called People Just Wanna Have Fun, written by Brown and bassist Robert “Kool” Bell. In August he decided to officially retire.
Kool-&-The-Gang-Mitgründer George Brown gestorben
Mit dem Kool-&-The-Gang-Hit "Celebration" hat er auf unzähligen Feiern für Stimmung gesorgt. Jetzt ist George "Funky" Brown an den Folgen einer Krankheit gestorben.
George Browns Musik war "der Klang des Glücks"
Ein Sprecher von Universal Music Enterprises habe laut des Branchenmagazins "The Hollywood Reporter" bestätigt, dass Brown an den Folgen einer Krebserkrankung gestorben sei. Wenn man ihn danach gefragt habe, wie er seine eigene Musik beschreiben würde, habe Brown demnach stets geantwortet: "Es ist der Klang des Glücks."
Audios / Videos:
Musician George "Funky" Brown talks about his cancer diagnosis and the importance of persistence
George Brown Recalls The Success Of Kool & The Gang's Jungle Boogie
Questlove Supreme Podcast | George Brown
Kool & The Gang - Ladies Night
Kool & The Gang - Jungle Boogie
Kool & The Gang - Celebration
Kool & The Gang - Fresh
Kool & The Gang - Cherish (Live at Montreux 2009)
Kool & The Gang - Cherish
Kool & The Gang - Joanna (Official Music Video)
Kool & The Gang - Hollywood Swinging
Kool & The Gang, Live at P.J.’S Hollywood
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