Kashmere stage band

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The calendar year isn't over yet, but as of today, my favorite album of the year is a compilation of high school marching band music from Kashmere High School in Houston, TX, recorded by their band director, Conrad O Johnson in the years 1968 - 1974. I wish my high school band funked as hard. I'm looking at you, Beth.

In fact, I wish I knew of some contemporary bands that funked as hard. Wow. Hard not to dance in one's chair when the songs pulse out of one's speakers. We mentioned the release of this compilation a few months ago, and I bought the CD within the week, of course.

Texas Thunder Soul 1968-1974
“Texas Thunder Soul 1968-1974” (Kashmere Stage Band)

NPR/KUT-Austin recently broadcast a small article, with some song samples:

At first, judges didn't know what to make of the kids from Kashmere in their platform shoes and matching crushed-velvet suits. Their impeccably choreographed moves were more James Brown than high school big band, and the music was often an original funk composition by Johnson himself.

But KSB was soon winning national championships, and a larger-than-life reputation as undefeatable. For 10 years, even with constant changes in the lineup as kids graduated, KSB was considered by some to be not only the nation's best stage band, but one of the best funk bands -- period.

Between 1968 and 1978, KSB recorded eight studio albums. As Johnson neared retirement in 1978, the band broke up, and before long, the band was largely forgotten. But not by everyone. Kashmere's recordings became prized by hip-hop producers and DJs, who sampled them and played them in clubs.

Highly recommended.

Kashmere stage band2

Kashmere stage band1

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1 Comment

In my defense - I was in the orchestra and there was no hint of funk (funk was frowned upon - highly discouraged and hell, we were lucky some of them could hold their instruments) As for the band, the closest they got to funk was their uniform closet. (Ok, I had to take a cheap shot. It was staring me in the face.) Now our choir on the other hand,(the only group with any noticeable musical talent in high school) especially when we were Freshman - they truly had some bona fide funk. Julie B. still has tapes.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on August 22, 2006 3:45 PM.

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