The man responsible for one of the most recognisable drum breaks in all of popular music has died. Clyde Stubblefield passed away from kidney failure last night, at the age of 73. Having drummed for Otis Redding in the early sixties, Stubblefield joined James Brown’s band in 1965, and over the next number of years, helped to pioneer funk drumming.
His signature piece of work is an improvised drum break in James Brown’s “Funky Drummer Pts. 1 & 2”, recorded in 1969:
Rediscovered by Hank Shocklee of The Bomb Squad in 1987, and employed by Shocklee in Public Enemy’s track “Fight The Power”, this drum break has since been sampled in over 1300 songs, according to the website whosampled.com
Of course, Stubblefield’s contribution to modern music is far more than a twenty-second drum break, but it’s this for which he’s most revered. Below is a playlist of ten huge songs that employ the Funky Drummer sample. Press play and Give The Drummer Some…..