Tuesday, January 19, 2016
RIP Clarence Reid aka Blowfly
Via The Guardian: "Clarence Reid, also known by his stage name Blowfly, has died aged 76 ... According to a statement on his Facebook page, Reid died on 17 January from liver cancer [they announced he went into hospice care on Jan 13].
The statement, written by his drummer Tom Bowker, says: “Clarence’s sister Virginia and I thank you for all the love you have shown this week. We also thank you for supporting Clarence’s 50+ year music career – especially these last few years. We love you and will keep you informed on services and tribute performances in Clarence’s honour.”
From Rolling Stone: "As one of the main songwriters for Miami label TK Records, Reid penned a string of songs in the Sixties and Seventies for numerous soul and funk artists, including Gwen McCrae's "Rocking Chair" and Betty Wright's "Clean Up Woman."
He also wrote tracks for KC & The Sunshine Band, Sam & Dave and Bobby Byrd before giving birth to Blowfly, his outlet for performing comedic, explicit songs that over the years traversed the genres of soul, R&B and hip-hop; Blowfly is considered one of the earliest rappers. "He laid the foundation for hip-hop with 'Shake Your Ass' and 'Rap Dirty' and taught everyone that their dick could fly," Bowker tells Rolling Stone.
His debut The Weird Wild World of Blowfly was released in 1971, with Reid's alter ego releasing upwards of 25 albums since then, bearing titles like Porno Freak, Blowfly's Party, Blowfly and the Temple of Doom and Fahrenheit 69.
His life was chronicled in Jonathan Furmanski's 2011 documentary The Weird World of Blowfly, which found the singer touring the United States and attempting to reclaim and augment his legacy as both a jovial parodist and serious R&B vocalist (though mostly the former). In the film, Reid explains how as a child, he would pass the time working on a Georgia farm by creating dirty lyrics to popular songs to anger his white bosses. They ended up loving his X-rated renditions..."
Wax Poetics has republished a great interview with Reid from 2005, read it here.