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Song of the Day: “Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky (From Now On)”

Here’s another track I got turned on to by one of the music blogs I follow – in this case, the eclectic but always interesting Le Mellotron… Three versions since I didn’t post any “funk of the day” yesterday.

Lee Dorsey, “Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky (From Now On)” (1969) – from Return Of The Pusherman – Hustlin’ Soul
Lou Donaldson, “Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky (From Now On)” (1970) – from Everything I Play is Funky
Claudia Lennear, “Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky (From Now On)” (1973) – from What It Is! Funky Soul and Rare Grooves (1967-1977)

This song was written by Allen Toussaint and recorded in 1969 by his regular collaborator R&B singer Lee Dorsey, who had a minor chart hit with it. The instrumental backing was apparently provided by the great funk/R&B group The Meters, Toussaint’s house band for years, which included one of the Neville Brothers. Dorsey’s biggest hit was another Toussaint tune, “Working in a Coal Mine” – famously covered by Devo.

Jazz musician Lou Donaldson, who played with jazz giants Thelonious Monk and Milt Jackson and others, covered the song in a great jazz+funk crossover album from 1970, Everything I Play Is Funky. Another cover appeared on Phew (1973), the solo debut album of Claudia Lennear, “an American soul singer who has worked with many acts including Ike and Tina Turner, Humble Pie and Joe Cocker…. Lennear’s meetings with Mick Jagger and David Bowie are often cited as inspiration for The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar” (1971) and Bowie’s “Lady Grinning Soul” (1973).” (via Wikipedia.)

Another album with a cover of the song was also released in 1973 – Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky by O’Donel Levy – the cover is so symptomatic of 70s funk that I had to use it for the visual, above. More recently, Michael Doucet, leader of the Grammy-winning group BeauSoleil, also covered it on his 2008 album From Now On. And earlier this year, Peter Wolf, former singer for The J. Geils Band, covered it on Midnight Souvenirs. And no doubt there have been many other covers over the years of this fine slice of funk.

Toussaint, The Meters and BeauSoleil are all big names in New Orleans music. This is a song with serious Big Easy credentials – an obvious candidate for the theme song of New Orleans Funk.

Get ‘Em and Get It On…

Filed under: Song of the Day, ,

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zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Oh - and hello to Jason Isaacs.

The 400 Blows

zerode

is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.

 

What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.

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