Marva Whitney
June 4, 2012 8:20 PM   Subscribe

Although she's not a household name, Marva Whitney is fondly remembered by funk devotees as one of the rawest, brassiest, most powerful divas the music ever produced. Along with fellow funk belters Lyn Collins and Vicki Anderson, Whitney made her name singing with the James Brown Revue for a few years, and her limited, much-sampled recordings for Brown-associated labels now fetch astronomical sums on the collector's market. - AllMusic
posted by Trurl (8 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I'd never heard of her, but loved this! Just bought one of her CDs, and was led to "James Brown's Original Funky Divas" as well. Perfect for the end of a crappy day, thanks!
posted by skycrashesdown at 8:45 PM on June 4, 2012

If the interview audio clips from the first link are broken for you (as they are for me), you can access them from here.
posted by sysinfo at 8:47 PM on June 4, 2012

posted by box at 8:51 PM on June 4, 2012

Oh, and as a fan of Osaka Monaurail, I do recommend checking out their collaboration.
posted by sysinfo at 8:54 PM on June 4, 2012

So, why did she leave JBR?
“James Brown is holding a gun against my head. I think I’m about to die. I can feel the cold metal pressing against the side of my skull. I’m terrified.”
posted by unliteral at 9:01 PM on June 4, 2012

Whitney's project proved irresistibly tempting to hip-hop producers, most popularly via the opening grooves of "Unwind Yourself," which were plundered and flipped into the party staple "The 900 Number" or "Let Me Clear My Throat" (by DJ Mark the 45 King or DJ Kool, depending on your vintage).

Why should Marva get paid? Brown produced the record, and the sample features his drummer and someone from his horn section. Marva's vocal is mostly conspicuous by its absence.

"Whitney remembers the introductory bars of "Unwind Yourself" as something Brown simply hummed, and the band replayed."

It's sad that she's broke and all, but I hardly think Mark the 45 King is making the millions she thinks he is, but even if he was, it seems to me that she's way at the back of the queue for any entitlement.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:53 PM on June 4, 2012

One of my favorite Marva Whitney tracks is "What Do I Have To Do To Prove My Love To You" (audio only), which was used to good effect in this scene from the TV show Alias.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 1:16 AM on June 5, 2012

This is some midtempo crossover allovertheplace shit – shuffling, dragging, driving and pumping with horn stabs and Martha – I absolutely love it.
posted by niceness at 4:21 AM on June 5, 2012

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