Dyke And The Blazers – Let A Woman Be A Woman, Let A Man Be A Man

Dyke & The Blazers - Let A Woman Be A Woman, Let A Man Be A Man

Every now and then it’s good to return to the classics and today’s song is definitely a stone cold classic! Dyke & The Blazers formed in 1965 when Arlester Christian (a.k.a. “Dyke”) who had been part of a touring band with the O’Jays, joined forces with members of a Phoenix based group called “The Three Blazers” to create the imaginatively titled new outfit – “Dyke And The Blazers”.

James Brown and his band were to prove a huge influence on the new group and the newly emerging “funk” sound was to provide the basis of the Dyke And The Blazers vibe. Their debut release “Funky Broadway” scored them a top 20 R&B hit and they just scraped into the top 70 on the U.S. pop charts, however it was Wilson Pickett who was to have the greater success with the song when his version reached No1 on the R&B chart and the top 10 on the U.S. pop chart – sadly many people think the original release was by the “Wicked Pickett”, a scenario that was to all to often affect many of the lesser lights in the soul & funk world, but that’s another story…

The record I bring you today was the fifth single release for the band – and this is them on full on James Brown funk mode. When I used to play this song to those people who hadn’t been schooled in the ways of funk, they immediately thought it was just another JB record. The opening jangly guitar style was ripe for sampling and Stetsasonic duly obliged as did Tupac Shakur a few years later. English indie band “The Heavy” released their own version entitled “How Ya Like Me Now” which has since been featured in numerous tv ads and films, yet again ensuring the lack of recognition for the band. Sadly the group disbanded in 1971 after “Dyke” was shot and killed as the result of an apparent drug deal going wrong, however the band’s legacy to funk collectors remains in tact and they are often referred to as one of the most influential funk groups ever.

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