Funky Broadway

Album: The Sound of Wilson Pickett (1967)
Charted: 43 8

Songfacts®:

  • "Funky Broadway" was one of Wilson Pickett's two Top 10 hits on the US Hot 100 (the other was 1966's "Land Of 1,000 Dances"), though he routinely swept the R&B charts and scored at least some Top-40 hits on the UK charts as well. This song was written by Arlester "Dyke" Christian, of the group Dyke & the Blazers.
  • This song has the honor of being the first charting single to be published with the word "funk" in the title - it is one of the founding songs of the whole funk genre.
  • Notice how at the beginning of the song before the vocals kick in, you could almost swear you were listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival. There's definitely some common ground between CCR's style of swamp-rock blues and funk's origins in soul, gospel, jazz, and blues, but it's so hard to trace that it can't be pinned down. And yet we have examples like this, where Uncle Cosmo's ghost shows up to tease us with a couple of bars.
  • Dyke & the Blazers have their own sad story to tell. Besides Dyke writing this song, their greatest claim to fame was opening for the O'Jays (of "For The Love Of Money" fame). "Funky Broadway" didn't chart for them, but they did get two songs onto the Top-40, both in 1969: "We Got More Soul"(#35) and "Let A Woman Be A Woman - Let A Man Be A Man"(#36). They were rising stars, even to the point of James Brown paying them a visit and acknowledging some influence. Tragically, Arlester "Dyke" Christian was shot to death (by an "unstable man," the reports say) while sitting in his car in a parking lot in Phoenix, Arizona, when he was just 27 years old. This brought the band to an end, since he was both frontman and driving force.
  • Songplaces-finding fans, don't jump to conclusions. The Broadway of the song title is not the New York Broadway, but Broadway Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Geez, next you suppose we'll tell you there's a Las Vegas in New Mexico!

Comments: 2

  • Bob from Orchard Park, NyThe street also refers to Buffalo, NY as per "WIKIPEDIA" {The "Broadway" referred to in the title is the original Dyke and the Blazers song is Broadway in Buffalo, NY, not the famous Broadway in New York City}. And yes there is a "Broadway in Phoenix, AZ also but Dyke was from "Buffalo, NY" and grew up not far from "Broadway" in the city.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhThis song was great, hey, they never play this on the oldies radio stations but they should. Definitely a funky song with a great sound. Don't care for this live version posted here on Songfacts, I like the sharper sounding recording of the song.
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