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Farewell to funky diva Marva Whitney
December 24, 2012 10:25 PM   Subscribe

Funk singer Marva Whitney, who was dubbed Soul Sister #1 by her mentor James Brown, has passed away at the age of 68. Backed by the whip-crack James Brown band (the JBs), Whitney's raw expression was just what the doctor ordered for those who wanted their funk uncut. Witness the supreme grooving goodness of It's My Thing (live TV appearance), Unwind Yourself, What Do I Have To Do To Prove My Love To You, I Made a Mistake Because It's Only You, and Things Got to Get Better (another live TV appearance, with James Brown himself conducting the band and Whitney resplendent in platinum blonde afro). Here she is in a southern-flavored soul ditty recorded for Excello in 1972 called Live and Let Live. Later in her career she cut an album with a JBs soundalike band from Japan called Osaka Monaurail, which included a recreation of the James Brown hit Give It Up or Turnit a Loose. And here's a radio interview from 2006, in which she reminisces about meeting James Brown and working under his wing. Heaven is a funkier place tonight. RIP Marva Whitney.

The first video link in this post is a live version of her reworking of the Isley Brothers' classic "It's Your Thing", which Marva changed to "It's My Thing". Here's the original recording of the song.

Marva Whitney, here at Metafilter just a few months previously.
posted by flapjax at midnite (13 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by somnambulist at 11:36 PM on December 24, 2012


Marva Whitney's a lot more famous than most people know.

Who Sampled Who.
posted by Mike Mongo at 11:39 PM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by Kinbote at 3:20 AM on December 25, 2012


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posted by the young rope-rider at 3:50 AM on December 25, 2012


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posted by marienbad at 5:07 AM on December 25, 2012


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posted by MexicanYenta at 5:27 AM on December 25, 2012


. Damn
posted by karlos at 5:27 AM on December 25, 2012


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posted by safetyfork at 8:58 AM on December 25, 2012


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(flapjax, your music-related posts are always so awesome. Thank you so much!)
posted by lord_wolf at 11:11 AM on December 25, 2012


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posted by ersatz at 2:16 PM on December 25, 2012


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posted by Wolof at 7:00 PM on December 25, 2012


You're most welcome, lord_wolf.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:53 PM on December 25, 2012


Took 'em a while, but the NY Times published an obit yesterday.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:35 AM on January 2, 2013


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