WYSO

Funk

Touring Dayton's New Funk Museum With SUN's Ernie Knisley

Feb 14, 2018
Ernie Knisley toured all over the world during the ‘70’s and early ‘80’s, as a member of the band SUN
Renee Wilde / WYSO

Dayton, Ohio – the birthplace of Funk Music will celebrate the opening of the Funk Center and Museum on Friday. Funk music started flowing out of Dayton in the 70s – and scores of hit records became part if the American soundtrack.  Groups like The Ohio Players, Heatwave and Parliament became household names.

Today on Culture Couch, Community Voices Producer Renee Wilde gets a private tour of the center with a local musician whose band, called SUN, was part of Dayton’s funky scene back in the day.

April Laissle

Music fans are celebrating the official opening of the Funk Music Hall of Fame in downtown Dayton. The highly anticipated museum celebrates funk music and its legacy in the city.  

 

Plans for the Funk Music Hall of Fame have been in the making for about two years. The city officially gave curator David Webb the green light to open on Third Street late last year.  

Bread Alone by Junie Morrison Ohio Players Funk Music in Dayton
Junie Morrison/Facebook

 

Many across our region are mourning the loss of one of Dayton’s most influential funk-music pioneers. Walter "Junie" Morrison was one of the original members of the Ohio Players. He also played keyboards with the band Funkadelic. Morrison’s daughter announced the 62-year-old’s death on Facebook, prompting dozens of fans, friends and family members to post their personal memories and appreciation Morrison’s huge influence on music history. Here, WYSO's Radio Basim, Behind The Groove Music host, shares his own remembrances of Morrison.

 

photo by Andy Snow

Behind the Groove host Radio Basim and Funk Center exhibit coordinator Hadley Drodge join WYSO Music Director Niki Dakota in the studio to talk about Dayton's funk legacy and the new exhibit on-site at the Dayton Metro Library's newly opened Northwest Branch.

Funk legend Greg Jackson will return to the Miami Valley for a live performance at Gilly's.  Behind the Groove host Radio Basim caught up with Jackson ahead of his visit to talk about the funk, Jackson's time performing with Zapp and more.

A group of Dayton residents is hoping to create a hall of fame for funk music in the southwestern Ohio city by collecting $10 donations from 10 million people.

The Dayton Funk Dynasty Group held a news conference Friday to discuss details of the planned Funk Hall of Fame and Museum and urge fans of funk to contribute

Organizers hope the museum will be open within two years and that it will be the center of an entertainment district.

Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner, frontman for the hit-making funk music band the Ohio Players, has died in southwest Ohio. He was 69.

A spokeswoman for a Dayton-area funeral home confirms he died Saturday and says the family has not scheduled any public services yet. There is also a posting about his death on his current band's Facebook page.

The Ohio Players topped music charts in the 1970s with hits such as "Love Rollercoaster," "Fire," "Skin Tight" and "Funky Worm." They were known for their brassy dance music, catchy lyrics and flamboyant outfits.

Full episode of WYSO Weekend for August 5, 2012 including the following stories:

-Boogie Nights: A History Of Funk In Dayton, by Community Voices producer Basim Blunt

-New Ohio Guide: Little Italy, by Karen Schaefer

-Jerry Kenney speaks with Bill Hardy of AIDS Resource Center Ohio about Truvada, the recently FDA-approved drug aimed at preventing HIV.