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Con Funk Shun

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Con Funk Shun

Con Funk Shun is a star-quality attraction delivering a superb, high-energy show with electrifying choreography, glistening six-part vocal harmonies, and a dash of humor. They are, unquestionably, among the heroes of Funk with romantic ballads and dance-party hits galore. Memorable melodies, inventive horn arrangements and clav-guitar woven grooves, make the group absolutely essential to the evolution of funk. They charted four consecutive Gold's and one Platinum album. Their 20 hit singles included 8 Top Ten R&B Hits and one #1 R&B smash between '77-'86.With finesse and consistency they legitimized what came following them: high-profile, commercial explosions featuring their hits in countless rap/hip-hop samples, exposed them to a new generation, now in their thirties. In response, Mercury/Polygram released the” Best of Con Funk Shun" in '93 on their "Funk Essentials" Series. The fans immediately recoiled to the “Essential to Funk”, Con Funk Shun. Universal bought Polygram, and again released the sure-thing Money-Maker, “Best Of Con Funk Shun” on their Millennium Collection in March 2002. This enthusiasm is what encored the band back to the stage. With rave concert reviews and cries for more LP's, Mercury/PolyGram re-released the Gold-LP"Secrets" in '95 and in '96 "Best Of Vol. II" Then, Intersound Records released "Live For Ya A**", a live LP, in '96 to coincide with CFS on the Sinbad "Soul Music Festival" HBO Special airing that August/September. '97, brought a "Love's Train" cover on a Multi-Platinum debut by Dru Hill, and samples for Gold-LP Booty Call Soundtrack ("Huckelberry" by D Shot) and Double-Platinum Gang Related Soundtrack ("A Change Is Gonna Come" by J. Flexx). '98, saw the re-release of Gold-LP "Spirit Of Love" and the "Ballads Collection". 2000 brought a new round of funk with Con Funk Shun contributing two new tracks to the Major Hits Records "United We Funk Allstars Compilation" (and Tour) including GAP's Charlie Wilson, Rick James, Dazz Band, Roger Troutman, SOS Band, Barkay's, and The System. In addition to the band's schedule, Michael Cooper remains vital in contemporary music today. When Con Funk Shun closed shop between '86 to '93, Cooper shined on a string of solo hits including "Shoop Shoop", " Prove My Love", and "Dinner For Two" on his Warner Bros. LP's,in 2003 on NCA " THIS HEART OF MINE" and still tours as a solo act, promoting his new cd "ARE WE COOL" Pilate emerged as a multi-platinum record producer for his award-winning production on M.C.Hammer, Addams Family Movie, and Hammerman Cartoon Show. And now his new cd "Nothing but Love Spoken here" In their formative years, they started in their hometown of Vallejo, CA. The band wound up in Memphis in the mid-70's when they landed a lucky gig backing the Soul Children, a red-hot Stax act. After the Soul Children back-up gig the group adopted a new name inspired from a Nite-Liters song: ConFunkShun. After the newly re-named act attracted the attention of Mercury Records, they soon set funkateers around the world on fire with "Sho' Feels Good To Me," from their debut album. Their second LP, "Secrets", exploded to Gold status. The LP featured the No. 1 Hit Single, "Ffun," penned by the productive, prolific Cooper on a tour-coach ride between concerts. "Marry Me Again” could well be the new anthem wedding song as Cooper woos his love partner with fervent sentiment and passion. “I Got A Love Jones,” on the other hand, is a finger snapping sing a long while with the base heavy “40 Days 40 Nights” Cooper puts his mack down on an ex-flame before taking us back to the party with “Club Feenz.” “Music is my mission,” reveals Cooper. “My sound has stayed essential because the guys and I still actively tour. My musical inspiration comes from my audience, my family and from life. My sound has fueled a generation and that same generation fuels my sound.” Are We Cool, Cooper queries? With music like his, the answer is yes, definitely so! We are cool with an album that couldn't be any hotter! By 1979, with charting albums "Loveshine" and "Candy", Con Funk Shun were solid-Gold sellers, performing for sold-out shows like the prestigious Omni in Atlanta. The group began self-producing a year later, on the "Touch" LP. Alongside blistering dance workouts like "Chase Me" and "Ms. Got-The-Body" were their timeless slow-jams with pop fliar - classic fav's such as, "Love's Train", "Straight From The Heart", "(Let Me Put) Love On Your Mind" and "All Up To You". Then CSF teamed with Kool & The Gang's producer, Eumir Deodato, producing "Baby I'm Hooked (Right Into Your Love)." "I'm Leaving Baby" was a collaboration with Maurice Starr, then-future svengali to New Kids On The Block. These hits and more remain on radio playlists today, year after year... Recent appearances include Tokyo’s Cotton club, Cashe Creek casino Resort, Harrah’s New Orleans, Rrazz room San Francisco and the Master of funk USA tour, The Tom Joyner fantastic voyage cruise 2010,as well as corporate and charity events.

Midnight Star Portrait

With Special Guest:
Midnight Star

The story of MIDNIGHT STAR began in 1976 on the campus of Kentucky State University in Frankfort, KY. Two musical kindred spirits, trumpeter Reggie Calloway and saxophonist Bill Simmons, set their sights on creating a new band. The two friends had a vision of assembling spectacular musicians and entertainers who shared their dream of making it big in the music industry. Reggie and Bill enlisted fellow Kentucky State University students Belinda Lipscomb (lead vocals), Kenneth Gant (bass, vocals) Jeff Cooper (guitar), Boaz Watson (lead vocals, keyboards), Melvin Gentry (vocals, guitar, drums) to join in their quest for greatness. The group quickly developed a reputation locally as a jamming party band at dances, covering top 40 material of the day. They later added guitarist Dana Mattison and trombonist Vincent Calloway (Reggie’s younger brother). As the group pursued their journey into the music business, MIDNIGHT STAR demonstrated natural camaraderie rarely experienced in the industry. This type of immediate unity cannot be forced or replicated: college friends dedicated to living together, enjoying themselves and sharing their passion for music. They rehearsed 5-days a week and toured clubs throughout Kentucky, Ohio & Indiana. Within two-years of its inception MIDNIGHT STAR showcased in New York City. This 1978 showcase inspired SOLAR Records chief Dick Griffey to sign the group to his label. After being signed, the group was swiftly swept into the studio to record its first album, THE BEGINNING. The album wasn’t an instant success, but it was a promising debut that made for some terrific listening. Released in 1980 THE BEGINNING spawned one minor hit, “Make It Last” and also received meaningful airplay with the soulful ballad “Searching for Love”. The group was still establishing a name for themselves on the national stage with the release of their second album, STANDING TOGETHER in 1981. Two mid-charting singles "I've Been Watching You" and “Tuff” exuded the characteristics of how great the band would soon be. In 1982 the third album, VICTORY, which yielded the mid-charting "Hot Spot," was an exercise in experimentation when Dick Griffey suggested that the band produce the album themselves with Reggie Calloway at the helm. Also, drummer Bobby Lovelace joined the group in late 1982, freeing Melvin Gentry to sing and play guitar exclusively. SOLAR Records stuck by the group and the patience would pay off in 1983. On the fourth album, the phenomenal NO PARKING ON THE DANCE FLOOR, MIDNIGHT STAR was able to reap the rewards of its hard work. The technofunk classic "Freak-A­Zoid", the title cut "No Parking On The Dance Floor" and the absorbing "Wet My Whistle" helped propel the group to new heights and launched MIDNIGHT STAR into superstar status. The album, though, did not rely on growth solely from the single releases. Album cuts were beginning to jump off the vinyl, as the vibrant "Electricity" and the romantic ballad, "Slow Jam," made their respective paths to the dance floors and radio airwaves. The NO PARKING ON THE DANCE FLOOR album reached an amazing milestone in the group’s career with an over 2-million units sold and RIAA Double Platinum Certification. Album five, PLANETARY INVASION, led way the following year with the group's first No. 1 R&B hit, "Operator." Using the creativity of a busy phone line signal and an operator's voice, the tune was completely mesmerizing and managed to remain at the No. 1 position for five weeks. The infectious and timeless album track "Curious" pushed its way onto radio and is still favorite to listening audiences to this day! “Curious has been sampled multiple time by various Hip Hop artist. PLANETARY INVASION also became a huge success across the Atlantic, elevating MIDNIGHT STAR to international status. MIDNIGHT STAR struck gold again in 1986 with the exploding HEADLINES album, which opened the group's next period with a hit single of the same title. But another single from the album, the golden "Midas Touch," really made the difference. The tune's gentle melody created another bonified chart topper. This would be the last album with the Calloway brothers, who left the band to pursue a career as music producers. The group carried on its the hit making ways with the self-titled MIDNIGHT STAR album in 1988. Both "Don't Rock The Boat," which featured a guest appearance by Whodini, and the quirky "Snake In The Grass" jumped into Billboard Magazine's R&B Top 10. MIDNIGHT STAR broke into the 90’s with the smash “Do It (One More Time)” from their WORK IT OUT CD, an album that also featured the sultry ballads “Red Roses” and “Love of My Life”. The success of MIDNIGHT STAR gave its members the credibility and agility to write and produce for fellow Solar label-mates such as The Whispers, Klymaxx and Carrie Lucas. MIDNIGHT STAR was also responsible for bringing the funk group The Deele to the Solar roster: a six-piece outfit based out of Cincinnati, Ohio that included the powerful mix of Antonio L.A. Reid and Kenny Babyface Edmonds, who would go on to become a multi-million selling hit production team. Many MIDNIGHT STAR members pursued various outside projects. Melvin Gentry and Bo Watson created the production team "Bo & McArthur" writing, and producing hits for Shanice Wilson and Toni Braxton. Bo served as Music Director for, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds on MTV Unplugged concert series and CD. Bo also collaborated with Babyface as a writing partner, penning hits such as “Love Shoulda Brought You Home” for Toni Braxton and “Rock Steady” for the Whispers. Beautiful lead singer Belinda Lipscomb found success singing on Emmy nominated TV and Radio commercials and took her onstage talents to the theater, with lead roles in several musical comedies and gospel musicals. After a long hiatus from the stage, it became obvious to the group that the performing bug had hit them. It was time to give themselves and fans what they all were missing… MIDNIGHT STAR concerts. The band reassembled in 1998 with Belinda Lipscomb, Melvin Gentry, Bo Watson, Bill Simmons, Kenneth Gant and Bobby Lovelace and quickly hit the concert circuit. In 1999 to support of touring, Capitol Records/Right Stuff released the MIDNIGHT STAR "Anniversary Collection" which CD covered many of their past hits. It also gave the band the opportunity to contribute a brand new "Slow Jam Live" and Freak-A-Zoid remix track for the CD. In 2002 the MIDNIGHT STAR released their first album in over 12 years, entitled "15th Avenue. For the group, it’s been a thrilling rollercoaster ride, from obscure beginnings at Kentucky State University through the halls of Solar Records and onto stardom. MIDNIGHT STAR created for itself an enviable track record that so many in the music business today would love to call their own. And not to say that hit records are the only true make-up of a group, it is what the music invokes in the listening public and the ability to sustain that feeling for a length of time. MIDNIGHT STAR continues to perform its music to sold out halls and arenas all over the world.