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Con Funk Shun

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Biography

Vallejo, San Francisco CA, United States

The Early Years
Con Funk Shun was formed in Vallejo, California by high-school classmates Louis A. McCall and Michael V. Cooper. With Louis on drums and percussion and Michael providing lead vocals and lead guitar, the group included Karl “Deacon” Fuller (trumpet), Paul “Maceo” Harrell (saxophone/flute) Cedric Martin (bass Guitar), Danny “Sweet Man” Thomas (keyboards), and Felton “Slyde Clyde” Pilate (trombone/lead vocals).

Originally named Project Soul, the group became a backup band for the Stax Records artists The Soul Children in the early 1970s Renaming themselves Confunkshun, the group moved to Memphis, Tennessee and became one of the label’s most sought-after studio bands. They supported themselves by performing throughout the mid-South and Japan at clubs and colleges, along with such bands as, Brief Encounter, Chocolate Funk, Brick, The Dazz Band, and The Mighty Majors. They came to the attention of Estelle Axton and recorded an album and several singles on her Fretone Records label.

The Mercury Records Years
By 1976, Con Funk Shun, was one of the most popular groups in the South but still had not secured a major recording deal. That all changed in July 1976 when Mercury Records A&R man Jud Phillips finally signed the group to a major recording contract. By that time, drummer Louis McCall’s wife, publicist/songwriter Linda Lou McCall, had “tweaked” the spelling of the band’s name (originally “Confunkshun”), and their first album, “Con Funk Shun”, was released later that year.

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