Funk
Funk bands usually have a horn driven sound with rhythmic beats that blend soul, jazz and R&B into high energy danceable music. It also has a strong groove with an electric bass and drums in the foreground.  The band known as Sly & the Family Stone, with thumpin' and pluckin' bassist Larry Graham, were forerunners in the birth of funk. Then there was George Clinton, who has been called one of the most important innovators of funk music; the Ohio Players from Dayton; Tulsa Oklahoma gave us the Gap Band and New York City gave us Cameo.  Of course, we must mention the King of Funk Rick James.

 

Sly & the Family Stone was pivotal in the development of soul, funk, and psychedelic music. Headed by singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist Sly Stone, and containing several of his family members and friends, the band was the first major American rock band to have an integrated lineup in both race and gender.

 
Larry Graham, Jr. is best known as both the bass guitar player in the popular and influential psychedelic soul/funk band Sly & the Family Stone, and as the founder and frontman of Graham Central Station. He is credited with the invention of the slapping technique, which radically expanded the tonal palette of the bass, although he himself refers to the technique as "Thumpin' and Pluckin'."
 
George Clinton is the principal architect of P-Funk. He was the mastermind of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic during the 1970s and early 1980s, and is a solo funk artist as of 1981. He has been called one of the most important innovators of funk music, next to James Brown and Sly Stone. Clinton is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.
 
Bootsy Collins rose to prominence with James Brown in the late 1960s, and with Parliament-Funkadelic in the '70s, Collins's driving bass guitar and humorous vocals established him as one of the leading names in funk.Collins is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.
 
The Gap Band rose to fame during the 1970s and 1980s with their heavily-charged dance anthems and their sentimental and ethereal love songs. Comprising brothers Charlie, Ronnie and Robert Wilson, the band first formed as the Greenwood, Archer and Pine Street Band in 1967 in their hometown of Tulsa, OK. The group shortened its name to The Gap Band in 1979.
 

Cameo was formed in 1974 in New York City. They started out with a deep funk driven sound. Starting in the 1980s, Cameo’s sound began to evolve. Their release of Cameosis in 1980 and Knights of the Sound Table in 1981 started to reveal their eclectic style. In 1986 the single “Word Up!” became the best pop single of the year and pushed the band to heavy stardom. They followed with singles such as “Back and Forth,” and “Candy.”

 

Rick James was one of the most popular artists on the Motown label during the late 1970s and early 1980s, James was famous for his wild brand of funk music and his trademark cornrow braids. As time went on, James was given the unofficial title The King of Punk-Funk.  James found a role as a writer and producer at Motown, using the name Terry Johnson on tunes for Smokey Robinson & The Miracles and The Spinners. He moved to California in 1969 and formed Salt ‘n’ Pepper before returning to Motown, where he developed the gritty funk sound that would bring him hits and notoriety. “Super Freak” in 1981, from the Street Songs album, was his biggest hit.