Today’s post is sadly something of an obituary to a legend of black music who passed away yesterday after a short battle with liver cancer, Miami’s Clarence “Blowfly” Reid. He was 76.
Reid’s career spanned over 50 years and incorporated r&b, soul, funk and hip-hop. As well as releasing his own music he wrote many hits over the years for other artists like Sam & Dave, Jimmy “Bo” Horn, K.C. & The Sunshine Band and personal favourites Betty Wright’s “Clean Up Woman” & Gwen McCrae’s “90% Of Me Is You”.
It was however to be Reid’s alter-ego “Blowfly” that saw him gain notoriety with his sexually explicit take on well-known pop songs.The Blowfly “Super-Villain” persona began in 1971 with the debut album release entitled “The Weird Wild World Of Blowfly”. By the early 80s, the style had developed into a proto-rap and was to prove hugely influential for may rap acts including Ice T & Public Enemy. Over the next 30 years Reid played many gigs in his Blowfly guise right up until a number of months before he passed away.
So the record I have chosen to feature is probably Reid’s most well-known solo record – “Nobody But You Babe”. This track bears more than a passing resemblance to the Isley Brothers’ “It’s Your Thing” and bears all the hallmarks of that late 60s funky soul sound that Clarence was renowned for. The world has lost a true legend, may his influence never be forgotten. R.I.P.