Con Funk Shun

Con Funk Shun were 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, the band released 11 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)


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).


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)

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