“Get Down People”: $300 Funk

I am delighted that a 45 released on Shad O’Shea’s Counterpart label – “Get Down People” by 400 Years of What – sold on Ebay for a cool $295.  However, if it weren’t for Buckeye Beat’s comprehensive listing of 45s released on Cincinnati’s Counterpart Records, I might have missed out altogether on this classic mid-70s disco-funk party jam:

“Get Down People”     400 Years of What     1975

Given the year of release (1975), I have to assume this song was recorded at Shad O’Shea‘s Counterpart Creative Studio in Cincinnati’s Cheviot neighborhood.   According to the informative blurb that accompanies the above YouTube video/audio clip:

“400 Years of What became *the* party band in the Cincinnati area after the House Guests [featuring “Bootsy” & “Catfish” Collins] dissolved around 1972.  Led by bassist Gordon Hickland, draftees from the House Guests included saxophonist Ralph ‘Randy’ Wallace and trumpeter Ronnie Greenway.  With the addition of [future Zapp] keyboardist Greg ‘Tuffy’ Jackson, guitar slingers Big Jimmy Callery and Clarence Miller, and drummer Little Jimmy Roberts, the core of the crew was established.  For the band’s mid-’70s airing on Shad O’Shea’s Counterpart label, the traps were manned by Frank ‘Kash’ Waddy, destined to be a key player in the triumph of the Parliament sprawl and especially Bootsy’s solo works.  An early incarnation of this outfit backed Gloria Taylor on the singer’s rare single for the House Guests label, with her ‘Brother Less than a Man’ being a primitive, rough version of the band’s later release as ‘Do What You Like.'”

Carfagna, Dante.  “The Cincinnati Connection:  The Local Roots of Bootsy Collins and Kash Waddy.”  Waxpoetics Aug./Sept. 2006: 93-94.  Print.

Because of high demand from DJs and mixmasters, this single would be reissued in 2006 on Dopebrother Records – check out this verbiage from the Hum Records catalog:

“Dopebrother is back with the first of two, super-rare sides of deepest dance floor funk from Cincinnati.  400 Years Of What dropped this often talked about but seldom seen single on Counterpart Records back in the heyday of Black Power, but in spite of the right-on vibe and intense musicianship, the record barely made it out of Ohio.  With original copies nearly impossible to uncover, it has only been through deep-pocketed collectors and DJ’s that anyone has gotten to hear the amazing A-side, a burning instrumental with extended drum breaks and an irresistable groove.  The B-side is just as strong, a Funkadelic-esque stoned headnodder with chanted vocals.  Dopebrother’s fully licensed and clean transfer from the Counterpart masters is an essential pick up for any funky DJs and afficionados of deep grooves.”

Original 1975 single                                         2006 reissue single

400 Years of What 45-1975400 Years of What 45-2006

More recently in 2013, Party Platter would launch their up-and-coming record label with this very same 45 – the first in a series of archival releases to showcase Cincinnati artists.

Photo courtesy of Party Platter

400 Years of WhatLeft to Right:  Louis McQueen, Gordie Hickland, Clarence ‘BigJon’ Miller, Jimmy Callery, Randy Wallace, Frank “Kash” Waddy., and [man in yellow hat].

Collector’s Frenzy allows you to see other auction results for this same 45 — interesting to note that a couple auction winners this year made out like bandits by paying less than $20.