Fatback Band Letter

October 11, 2008

The summer has come to a close and fall is moving in fast. I had the chance to make new friends in Germany and to re-connect with some old ones. I caught up with Soul to Soul, Alexander O'Neal, and Floordroppa, a funky group out of the UK. Their new CD is really good... stay funky, guys! Jazzy B was up to his old tricks, just laying the sophisticated funk. And O'Neal, still turning the house out. Overall the Summer wasn’t bad, not bad at all.

Its time to get back to Funky and that what we did on our new single we're putting the finishing touch on now. Before we can put it on the market, we’ll need your feedback, so be on the look out for your download. I need to know are we in the funk and how deep. Good or bad, we always love hearing what you have to say…

From time to time, people ask me about the arrangements. Who is the young man behind all the funk? He is often overlooked, because he’s very laid back and likes to be behind the scenes. He’s my partner, my co-producer and my friend of forty years: Gerry Thomas. Gerald and I (only a few friends call him Gerald) met when we played with the Ron Anderson Band out in Queens, NY in 1968. He was playing first trumpet then and I was on drums, at that time he was also doing studio sessions downtown and Broadway shows. I told him my ideal of starting a label and asked him would he like to come in with me and do some producing for my Fatback Label. As a matter of fact Gerry and Paul was our first recording Artist. Let me see, what was that tune? Ah, yes, “The Lone Ranger and Funky Tonto.”

I remember telling Gerry “if you stay with me, I won’t make you rich, but you'll never go hungry.” We went on to do some thirty-odd albums and about fifteen singles. Before he joined Fatback Band as a player, he was with the immy Caster Bunch for few years, his big hit with Jimmy was “We just Begun.” I can’t remember the years he joined Fatback, his arrangement really started when we went over to Spring Records. Another thing that’s interesting: I’ve never seen Gerry write out parts. They are always in his head! I must say, Gerry and I were a good team! We didn’t always see eye-to-eye musically, he was a production type of man and I was a bread-and-butter type over the coming years. Gerry became the guiding hand of Fatback, the MD. Whatever success we had, he’s one of the sponsors. He doesn’t usually feel like traveling with the band anymore, but when he does, Gerry plays keyboards. I thank you Gerry, you are one Funky Guy!

Indeed, Fatback is not a one-man thing, it takes all seven of us to get that sound right! In future newsletters I’ll highlight other members of our fine group.

-Bill Curtis
Fatback @ Facebook

A Few Gerry Thomas Tunes

Spanish Hustle
Do the Boogie Woogie
To be Without your Love
Chillin’ Out
Breaking Up is Hard to Do
Please Stay
Soul March
Night Fever
Is This the Future
Spread Love


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