Listen: Funky Broadway (Part 1) / Dyke & The Blazers DykeFunkyBroadway.mp3
Unrefined, impolite and uncouth. Some of the words used to describe Dyke & The Blazers as successful catalysts in the evolution of RnB into Funk. Traveling a parallel musical path to James Brown at the time, their records always maintained a homemade sound, and in fact most of the early 7′s like ‘Funky Broadway’ were just that. Rough, unpolished in-your-face lengthy jams with a focus on feel as opposed to precision, edited into singles – many as Part 1 and Part 2′s.
Having relocated to Phoenix, Dyke and band were always marketed as local, being originally from Buffalo. Luckily, that meant ‘Funky Broadway’ was ever present during what I recall being a very cold and snowy upstate winter ’67, though not until April did it make the Billboard chart. Peaking in one market, then spreading to the next, meant it’s chart high of #65 didn’t really represent the sizable hit the single actually was.
Worth getting are both the WE GOT MORE SOUL anthology cd and accompanying double vinyl edition which includes the extended versions of their biggest breaks, both on UK’s Ace Records label.
Listen: Funky Broadway / Wilson Pickett WilsonFunkyBroadway.mp3
Why waste a hit. Given the purity of Dyke & The Blazers’ chitlin’ circuit original, it wasn’t allowed full exposure on most Top 40′s. Even in ’67, a slicker produced, Motown-like, less street sound was required for airplay. In no time, Atlantic got the wicked Pickett to bring it home chartwise, hitting #1 RnB in autumn ’67, less than a year after the original first hit the charts earlier that same year.