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‘(I Wanna) Testify,’ The Parliaments


Look at those slick matching haircuts and dapper green and yellow suits. Listen to the sound of the music: slightly rough around the edges, but nothing truly wild or visionary. Certainly, you would have been shocked in 1967 if somebody had told you that George Clinton’s Plainfield-based vocal group, The Parliaments — which had a hit that year with the gospel-influenced “(I Wanna) Testify” — would morph into two eccentric, masterful and, usually, bizarrely dressed funk groups, The Parliaments and Funkadelic (and, later, into the entity now known as George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic or George Clinton & the P-Funk Allstars). Clinton — who still performs regularly at 73, and has just published a memoir titled “Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?” — is generally considered to be one of the architects of funk, behind, perhaps, only James Brown in terms of importance. Continue Reading →

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