Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

“Get Down People”: $500 Funk

How cool that a 45 released on Shad O’Shea‘s Counterpart label – “Get Down People” by 400 Years of What – sold on Ebay for over $500.  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 O’Shea’s Counterpart Creative Studio in Cincinnati’s Cheviot neighborhood — the 45 label says these recordings were produced by 400 Years of What.   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 RalphRandyWallace and trumpeter Ronnie Greenway.  With the addition of [future Zapp] keyboardist GregTuffyJackson, 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 FrankKashWaddy, 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 [inaugural release, in fact], 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 was reissued in 2006 on Dopebrother Records — check out this bit of 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].

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