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Calvin Simon
Nickname.......: "Coolman"
Instruments....: voc

Online.........: www

Calvin Simon was born in Beckley, West Virginia, where his first music styling would be for his church choir. Every Sunday evening, Calvin's voice could be heard over the radio at 6:00 pm, during the gospel singing. Even at an early age it was apparent that he had a gift , though it would be other talents that brought him to the music.

At the age of 13, his family moved to New Jersey. It was while working in a barber shop that his voice would start him on a path that lead to a life time of music. Calvin's first group The Crystals were a stepping stone in a time and place where Doo Wop quartets were on every corner. It was only a matter of time before all the good guys ended up on the same corner. And so The Parliaments were born.

The Parliaments began as a doo-wop barber shop quintet, put together in the backroom of the barber shop in Newark, New Jersey in 1955. Calvin, George and Grady were all working as Barbers, While Ray and Fuzzy were customers at the same shop. The group was originally modeled after Frankie Lymon's Group, the Teenagers, but soon moved on to a sound all their own. Founding members George Clinton, Calvin Simon, Fuzzy Haskins, Grady Thomas and Ray Davis, moved the band to Detroit in the mid-60's.

They snagged a Motown contract, only to end up on an over talented bench. The group moved from label to label, releasing 45 after 45, making Poor Willie/Party Boys for APT, Lonely Island/ Cry For Flip, and Heart Trouble/ That was my girl for Golden World.

Then in 1967, the group finally got a single out on Revilot Records; "(I Wanna') Testify" hit number three on the R&B and pop charts in 1967. Calvin recorded on the album, and then was subsequently drafted and served in Viet Nam. lousy distribution and an ensuing contractual dispute prevented an effective follow-up.

In the meantime, The band was busy immersing themselves in Sly and Jimi, studying the Beatles and Bob Dylan. Once they discovered the transportational power lurking in those big amplifiers, soul and rock would never sound quite the same.

In 1968, the Parliaments had a dispute with Revilot and refused to continue working for the label. While in the throws of the dispute, in an effort to keep working, the band signed the name Funkadelics with West Bound Records. To avoid waiting for some kind of settlement, the band hastily renamed the group Funkadelic, with the only musicians listed being the original backing band for the Parliaments. Revilot soon folded, and the Parliaments contract was sold to Atlantic. At this point, the band permanently abandoned the doo-wop style (to avoid working for Atlantic), though one Revilot recording, "A New Day Begins", was released by Atco in 1969. The re- christened Parliaments Funkadelic emerged in 1970 with the long-lost "Osimium" on Holland-Dozier-Holland's Invictus label.

In the years to follow the Funkadelic would continue to grow and evolve. And just as the Parliaments begat Parliaments Funkadelic, subsequent groups would soon evolve through the years, such as P-Funk, the P-Funk All Stars and now The Original P-Funk. Though the music accomplishment of all are quite extensive, below are the high-lights that Calvin was involved in.

Up For the Down Stroke positions Parliament as the lighter side of P-Funk: the sexy R&B ying to the Funkadelics shanky metal yang. In general, Parlaments plays up a dancible harmony chants and back on the guitar-stroked freakouts. Veteran James Brown sideman like bassist Bootsy Collins and the newly named "Horny Horns" pump up the beat, while an ever shifting cast of singers dispense party tips, sci-fy fantisy trips, seduction rapps, social commentaries scathing satire and tales for tots. throughout it all you always feel the "Presence of a Brain" as one Down stroke track insists. (written by C. Simon)

Chocolate City reveals the downside of Parliament's exploratory high-energy approach: even killer riffs turn into repetitious vamps and the most pointed raps can evaporate into hot air when left unattended. Parliament snaps back with sharp hooks and a walloping multi-media concept on Mothership Connection. the cosmic theatrics are actually supported by music that resembles nothing else on earth. "Tear the Roof Off the sucker (Give up the Funk)" is a downright irresistible command; that drum-beat hits your reflex center like a doctor's mallet. Gary Shider's mellifluous rap on the title track "put a glide in your stride and a dip in your hip and come aboard the mothership" dodges horn lines and blends into key-boardist Bernie Worrell's exquisitely synthesized fade out.

The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein doesn't possess an all-out anthem like "Give Up the Funk", though it may be the most consistently tuneful of all the Parliament albums. Dispite the mad-scientist jive, horn laden love stomps like "Your sexy Body" define the albums deliciously warped romantic mood. Funkentelechy Vs the Placebo System lays on the space-bass: it's denser more bottom heavy, even more wigged out then before. "Flashlight" brilliantly epitomizes Bootsy's thumb-picking propulsion, white "Bop Gum" leaves a deeply lingering sting. Motor-Booty Affair has to be the first and only free-flow aqua funk cartoon song cycle. Amid imaginative synth squiggles (from Worrell and Waters "Junie" Morrison) and goofy underwater giggles, light fingers tracks like "One Of Those Funky Things" and "Liquid Sunshine" strike some of Parliaments most complex and satisfying grooves. This album (along with Funkadelic's current One Nation Under a Groove) represents P-Funk's empire at it's dizzying creative peak.

As a member of The Parliament / Funkadelic, Calvin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame. Calvin is a proven winner. He has triumphed again and again in the face of adversity. His steadfast faith in Jesus Christ has prompted Calvin to sing His praises. Calvin has chosen to be a servant to the Lord and now uses his talents to God's glory!

To this end, Calvin has now expanded his talents. In the more recent years, Calvin has spent most of his time, when not in the studio, developing his own production company, Simon Sayz Productions; This includes his record company. Simon Sayz Recording, which opened it's doors as a full service record label in 2003. Spring of 2004 would bring it's first release, with “Share the News”, Calvin's first solo CD. published through Par Golf Music, on the Simon Sayz Recording Label.

Although being the publisher, producer, and director now demands as much attention as his days on the road, Calvin continues to record and is already working on the next CD. When asked about plans to return to touring, Calvin replies, "Well you never know what God has planned next!" "Share the News" is available through .

PFUNK 1969-07-10 ???? - Boston , MA      
Link PFUNK 1971-09-12 Meadowbrook - Rochester , MI
Link PFUNK 1972-00-00 The Sugar Shack - Boston , MA  
Link PFUNK 1974-00-00 The Sugar Shack - Boston , MA  
Link PFUNK 1976-10-31 The Summit - Houston , TX  


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