Con Funk Shun

Con Funk Shun was an American soul-funk band from Vallejo, Calif., that recorded two albums worth of material in Memphis circa 1973 that was later released a disc apiece on Pickwick and 51 West. Between 1976 and 1986, they released eleven albums on Mercury.

Members: Michael Cooper (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Louis McCall (drums, percussion, 1968-87), Karl Fuller (trumpet, vocals, 1971-87), Paul “Maceo” Harrell (saxophone, flute, 1971-87), Cedric Martin (bass, vocals, 1971-87), Danny “Sweet Man” Thomas (keyboards, vocals, 1971-87), Felton Pilate (vocals, guitar, keyboards, trombone, 1971-85, 1993-present), Melvin Carter (vocals, keyboards, 1985-87)


Background

Con Funk Shun began life as the Soul Project, formed in 1969 by Vallejo high school students Michael Cooper (vocals, guitar) and Louis A. McCall (drums). Over the next two years, they added bassist Cedric Martin, keyboardist Danny “Sweet Man” Thomas, trumpeter Karl Fuller, and reedist Paul “Maceo” Harrell. In late 1971, they grew to a septet with singer and multi-instrumentalist Felton Pilate. They took their name Con-Funk-Shun (later dropping the hyphens) from a title-sake song by The Nite-Liters.

In 1973, they relocated to Memphis, where they served as the live backing act for Stax recording artists The Soul Children. Signed to Crankshaft Productions by Stax co-founder Estelle Axton, Con Funk Shun entered Audio Dimensions studio with producer Ted Sturges and recorded two albums of material, later released as Organized Con Funk Shun (1978) and The Memphis Sessions (1980).


Organized Con Funk Shun

The first release of 1973 Memphis material, Organized Con Funk Shun, appeared in 1978 on Pickwick.


The Memphis Sessions

The second release of 1973 material, The Memphis Sessions, appeared in 1980 on 51 West.


Con-Funk-Shun

Con Funk Shun released their self-titled debut proper in 1976 on Mercury.


Secrets

Con Funk Shun released their second proper album, Secrets, in 1977 on Mercury.


Loveshine

Con Funk Shun released their third album, Loveshine, in 1978 on Mercury.


Candy

Con Funk Shun released their fourth album, Candy, on May 26, 1979, on Mercury.


Spirit of Love

Con Funk Shun released their fifth album, Candy, in early 1980 on Mercury.


Touch

Con Funk Shun released their sixth album, Touch, in late 1980 on Mercury.


7

Con Funk Shun released their seventh album, 7, in 1981 on Mercury.


To the Max

Con Funk Shun released their eighth album, To the Max, in August 1982 on Mercury.


Fever

Con Funk Shun released their ninth album, Fever, in 1983 on Mercury.


Electric Lady

Con Funk Shun released their tenth album, Electric Lady, in 1985 on Mercury.


Burnin’ Love

Con Funk Shun released their eleventh album, Burnin’ Love, in 1986 on Mercury.


Discography:

  • Organized Con Funk Shun (1978, recorded 1973)
  • The Memphis Sessions (1980, recorded 1973)
  • Con-Funk-Shun (1976)
  • Secrets (1977)
  • Loveshine (1978)
  • Candy (1979)
  • Spirit of Love (1980)
  • Touch (1980)
  • 7 (1981)
  • To the Max (1982)
  • Fever (1983)
  • Electric Lady (1985)
  • Burnin’ Love (1986)

Sources:

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