Funk Inc. comprised of:
Bobby Watley (Organ & Vocals) (b. Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.A.)
Steve Weakley (Guitar)
Eugene Barr (Tenor Sax)
Jimmy Munford (Drums & Vocals)
Cecil Hunt (Conga) (b. Cecil Hunt Snr., 27th July 1940, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. d. 12th April 2015, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A.)
Funk Inc are highly regarded in soul-jazz circles.
The group were founded in Indianapolis in 1969 by organist Bobby Watley, who recruited tenor saxman Eugene Barr, guitarist Steve Weakley, drummer Jimmy Munford and conga player Cecil Hunt.
Funk Incorporated sent a tape to Prestige's A & R department in March 1971 postmarked 'Indianapolis' along with a note of recommendation from Brother Jack McDuff.
In the early 1970's, the original line-up came to the attention of Bob Porter, a well respected producer who signed Funk, Inc. to Prestige and paved the way for the band to record five albums for that label.
The band's line-up included Bobby Watley on organ.
From Ohio, he was originally a drummer, until a spell with Lonnie Smith's band in 1969 led him to switch to the keys.
Bobby, the band's main composer, credited Jack McDuff as his mentor and tutor.
The two other components of the rhythm section were, former James Brown drummer, Jimmy Munford and conga player Cecil Hunt.
funk inc - 1971 / chicken licken - 1972 / hangin' out - 1973 / superfunk - 1973
After stressing a looser approach on the first three albums 'Funk Inc.', 'Chicken Lickin' and 'Hangin' Out', the group began to lose their way in the mid-1970's and turned to heavier production, with more arranging and background vocals.
This newer approach led to tension within the group, and Funk Inc. went their separate ways in 1976.
priced to sell - 1974 / urban renewal - 1996
Bobby Watley continued to play live gigs on his own in the Midwest, and it wasn't until the mid-1990's that he would organize a new Funk Inc. line-up.
Watley organized a new line-up that included Hunt and newcomers Teddy Patterson (alto & tenor sax), Doug Swanigan (guitar) and Phil Brines (drums).
Sadly, the original members Munford and Barr passed away a few years earlier.
With this lineup in place and Funk Inc., recording for Prestige once again, the band entered the studio in 1995 and recorded their first album in 21 years, 'Urban Renewal'.
It was also during the 1990's that Fantasy reissued some of Funk Inc's 1970's releases on CD.
Cecil Hunt passed away in April 2015.
Funk Inc. (Prestige Records 1971)
Chicken Lickin' (Prestige Records 1972)
Hangin' Out (Prestige Records 1973)
Superfunk (Prestige Records 1973)
Priced to Sell (Prestige Records 1974)
Urban Renewal (Milestone Records 1995)
Acid Inc: The Best of Funk Inc. (BGP Records 1988)