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The Parliaments

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Biography

The Parliaments were a doo wop group formed by George Clinton in 1955, put together in the back room of a barbershop Clinton was working at with friends Raymond Davis, Clarence Haskins, Calvin Simon, and Grady Thomas. Clinton began by modeling the group after Frankie Lymon's group, the Teenagers, but soon moved on to his own sound, which was to evolve heavily in the years to come. The group moved from label to label, releasing 45 after 45 for a time, making Poor Willie/Party Boys for APT, Lonely Island/Cry for Flip, and Heart Trouble/That Was My Girl for Golden World, all the while Clinton was making weekly trips to Detroit to produce for the likes of Roy Handy and the Pets. In 1967, the Parliaments scored a number three R&B/number 20 pop ranking on the Billboard charts with "I Wanna Testify" for Revilot, and signaled the coming changes in R&B. In 1968, the Parliaments had a dispute with Revilot and refused to continue working for the label. To avoid waiting for some kind of settlement, Clinton hastily renamed the group Funkadelic, with the only musicians listed being the original backing band for the Parliaments. Revilot soon folded and the Parliaments' contract was sold to Atlantic. At this point, Clinton permanently abandoned the doo wop style (to avoid working for Atlantic), though one Revilot recording, "A New Day Begins," was released by Atco in 1969. The group went on to form the basis for Funkadelic, later Parliament, and all things funky that were to follow.

Formed:

1955 in Detroit, MI

Genre
Years Active:

'50s, '60s

Contemporaries