5 Drummerszone artists - Clyde Stubblefield

Clyde Stubblefield
* April 18, 1943 † February 18, 2017
United States
A native of Chattanooga, TN, Clyde Stubblefield's natural sense of rhythm has always preceded him, "Beating on tin cans... boxes, and whatever else I could get hold of as a child," he says.

A self taught player, Clyde Stubblefield was fascinated by the rhythm of the machines he heard in the factories he passed on his walks to school and back while growing up. "I'd hear one rhythm on one side of the street on my way to school and a different one on the other on my way back. "When I got home," Clyde explains, "I'd try to play them both together!"

It was Clyde Stubblefield who James Brown was referring to when he uttered the now-famous phrase, "Give the drummer some," on his classic hit ,"Cold Sweat," which was Clyde's debut recording with Brown after coming off the road as drummer for Otis Redding in 1967.

Clyde Stubblefield helped change the way that drummers play and approach funk and groove drumming. He created many innovative and creative grooves that are still challenging drummers today. He recorded several classic James Brown songs including "Say it Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)," "Mother Popcorn," "I've Got the Feelin'," and his signature track, "Funky Drummer."

Clyde Stubblefield's breakdown beat on this classic is one of the most sampled drum loops in history, used on pop and hip-hop hits by the Beastie Boys, Depeche Mode, Dr. Dre, George Michael, Ice T, Nine Inch Nails, Parliament/Funkadelic, Prince, Public Enemy, and Sinead O'Connor, to name only a few.

To top that, his drumming on the break of James Brown's "Soul Pride" was sped up and cut up to create a rhythmic foundation for yet another popular musical genre, Drum and Bass.

This extensive use of these signature beats has given Clyde Stubblefield the distinction of being the "World's Most Sampled Drummer." Ironically, Clyde has never been paid any type of royalty for this use of his innovative beat. "The money isn't the issue but it would be nice to get the credit," Clyde has remarked.

Today Clyde Stubblefield, a long-time resident of Madison, WI, remains in demand, performing and recording with such diverse artists as Garbage, Public Enemy, and John Scofield, as well as releasing his own solo recordings, and working with fellow JB alumni, Fred Wesley, Fred Thomas, and Jabo Starks in The FunkMasters.

Clyde Stubblefield's work with Garbage on their platinum debut recording is notable in that the group's renowned producer and drummer Butch Vig, a fellow Madison resident, opted to hire Clyde to play on the record rather than sample him. "You don't use a sample when the genius who played the sample lives down the street from you," Vig has stated.

Clyde Stubblefield has also played in the houseband of Michael Feldman's "Whad'Ya Know Show" on National Public Radio for 25 years and his drumsticks are on display in the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland, OH.

Clyde Stubblefield and John "Jab'o" Starks, his friend and fellow JB drumming alumni, released an instructional drumming dvd, "The Soul Of Funky Drummers," in 2004, and continue to perform clinics and concerts together, sharing their deep soulfulness with fans everywhere worldwide.

In November 2008 Toontrack Music announced the release of an expansion to their EZdrummer drum sampler software, titled 'Funkmasters', with samples and midi recorded by Clyde Stubblefield and John "Jab'o" Starks.

As of June of 2009, Clyde Stubblefield is in need of a kidney transplant and undergoes dialysis treatments. Bands and industry are making a strong effort to organize and play fundraiser events, donating the event proceeds to go toward supplementing Stubblefield's dialysis treatment and subsequent medical bills.