Although he supplied a rock solid backbone to many James Brown recordings, he’s best known for this short fragment in the middle of Brown’s 1970 single ‘Funky Drummer’, sampled by just about everybody….you can find the ‘break’ at 5.20…
Stubblefield performed on several of Brown’s classics in the 1960s and early 70s, including Cold Sweat, Say It Loud I’m Black and I’m Proud, I’ve Got the Feelin’, and the album Sex Machine.
But he was best known for a short solo on Brown’s 1970 single, Funky Drummer. Rolling Stone magazine said it was sampled on over 1,000 songs and served as the backbeat for countless hip-hop tracks, including Public Enemy’s Fight the Power, Dr. Dre’s Let Me Ride, LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out and Run-D.M.C.’s Run’s House.
It even turned up on Ed Sheeran’s Shirtsleeves and George Michael’s Freedom ‘90, the magazine said.
Hannon said Stubblefield saw “very little” in royalties and never expected them.
But Stubblefield was held in high esteem by his fellow musicians. When Prince got wind in 2000 that Stubblefield was deep in debt from a fight against bladder cancer, he personally paid $90,000 to cover his bills, she said. “Clyde was considered his favourite drummer,” she added.
Here’s a few that used it….
…and it looks like a familiar story where the person who created it never got paid…
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