Dyke & The Blazers

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Dyke & the Blazers

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Dyke & the Blazers

Dyke & the Blazers was an American funk band. They picked up on the rhythms, bass and organ innovations of James Brown's band and released "Funky Broadway - Part I" in 1967, which may have been the first black dance single with the name "Funky" in the title. The song was covered later that year by Wilson Pickett, resulting in a #1 R&B hit.

Originally from Buffalo, New York, the band got stranded in Phoenix, Arizona while performing as the O'Jays backing band in the mid-1960s, when the O'Jays couldn't afford to send them back to Buffalo. "Funky Broadway" was inspired by the club scene present at the time on Broadway Road in Phoenix.

Frontman and vocalist Arlester "Dyke" Christian (born June 13, 1943, Buffalo, New York) was shot to death at the age of 27 on March 13, 1971, at the height of the band's success.[1] Key members of the group were Christian (vocals, bass), drummer Rodney Brown, guitarist Alvester "Pig" Jacobs, JV Hunt (saxophone), Bernard Williams (saxophone), and Richard Cason (organ), which is the lineup that recorded "Funky Broadway."[2] After 1968 Christian made Dyke and the Blazers records with a variety of Los Angeles studio musicians known as the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, which included drummer James Gadson, who also performed with Charles Wright and Bill Withers, guitarists Al McKay and Roland Bautista, who later became members of Earth, Wind & Fire, and bassists James Smith and Melvin Dunlap.

Dyke & the Blazers is inducted to the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame. According to the notes accompanying a recent DVD release of Mad Monster Party, they allegedly recorded "Do the Mummy," voicing the animated skeletal rock band Little Tibia and the Fibias, although the song in the film does not sound much like any Dyke and the Blazers recordings and no credits exist to confirm this assumption.[3]

The song "Let a Woman Be a Woman" has been sampled by the hip-hop performer Tupac Shakur for his song "If my Homie Calls" and the band Stetsasonic for their song "Sally" and English indie rockers The Heavy for their own "How You Like Me Now?". "Let a Woman" was also featured in the film Friends with Benefits.

Further reading

  • Segalstad, Eric (2008). The 27s: The Greatest Myth of Rock & Roll. Samadhi Creations. ISBN 978-0-615-18964-2.
  • Vincent, Rickey (1996). Funk: The Music, The People, and The Rhythm of The One. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-13499-1.


  1. Arlest "Dyke" Christian, 27club.net
  2. [1], soulfulkindamusic.net
  3. [2], wired.com
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