North Carolina native Geogle Clinton got his start in music by forming a doo wop group in the 1950s out of the back room of a barbershop where he worked straightening hair. The band scored a recording contract with a small Detroit label and had a hit in 1967. Clinton was also hired as a staff songwriter. When the label folded the band lost their right to use their name – The Parliaments, and Clinton renamed his group Funkadelic and used it as a vehicle to revolutionize funk and R&B.
Funkadelic embraced psychedelic into their mix of gospel tinged R&B and funk to create a new sound. Basically the same musicians formed the basis of Parliament, a band Clinton ran concurrently with Funkadelic. Between the two groups, Clinton had 39 charting singles in the 70’s, peaking with multiple number one R&B singles towards the end of the decade.
Contract issues slowed Parliament/Funkadelic in the 80’s, so Clinton recorded a series of albums under his own name but using most of the same musicians. The first album Computer Games came in 1982. Always innovative, Clinton embraced the new techno-funk sound to score another number 1 R&B single.
Clinton’s work has also included record production and movie and TV acting. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 along with fifteen other members of Parliament/Funkadelic.
Now retired from live performance, Clinton says he expects Parliament/Funkadelic to continue touring without him. Clinton says “Truth be told, it’s never really been about me. It’s always been about the music and the band. That’s the real P-Funk legacy. They’ll still be funkin’ long after I stop.”