The Brides of Funkenstein

Funk Rock & R&B

Interview with Dawn Silva

 

Previously background singers for Sly Stone, Mabry and Silva joined the P-Funk collective in the mid-1970s. George Clinton named the group (based on a storyline and characters from the Parliament album The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein). The Brides’ provided the vocals for the 1977 album Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs by P-Funk guitarist Eddie Hazel. Clinton produced the Brides’ debut album, Funk Or Walk, for Atlantic Records in 1978. The album was a success, selling over three hundred thousand copies within the first week as well as winning a Record World award for best new female group. The album charted at #7 on the R&B charts; the single “Disco To Go” was certified gold in America and reached platinum status in Europe and Asia. The duo became an opening act forParliament-Funkadelic tours and also performed backing vocals for the ensemble itself.

Lynn Mabry left the group in 1979. Dawn Silva lead singer invited back-up “Bridesmaids”Sheila Horne and Jeanette McGruder to sing on the second Brides album, Never Buy Texas From A Cowboy. This lineup received a Cashbox Rhythm & Blues award for best new female artist, beating out The Pointer Sisters, Sister Sledge, and Cheryl Lynn. The Brides’ second album was rated in 2001 by Rolling Stone as one of the top 50 coolest albums ever released. The trio recorded a third album, Shadows On The Wall, Shaped Like The Hat You Wore in 1980, but the album was not released. Most of the songs from the unreleased album gradually appeared elsewhere in the P-Funk catalog.

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“Experiencing the Brides is like lying on a bed of memory foam; you’ll never forget it.”

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