Funk emerged in the mid-1960s, when African-American musicians took elements of soul, jazz, and R&B music to create a new genre. The focus of funk music was the rhythm, particularly from the bass and drums, played to create an extended danceable groove.

The godfather of soul, James Brown, was also the father of funk. His 1967 hit “Cold Sweat” is considered one of the first true funk songs. Other influential funk bands include Tower of Power, Sly & the Family Stone, The Meters, The Isley Brothers, and George Clinton’s bands Parliament and Funkadelic.


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