Clyde Stubblefield laid down the beat for James Brown's biggest '60s hits. Stubblefield helped drive such seminal Brown funk-fests as "Mother Popcorn," "Cold Sweat," "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)," "I Got The Feelin'," and "Funky Drummer."
Stubblefield's famous break on the latter has been reappropriated so many times that it's earned him the unofficial title as "the World's Most Sampled Drummer."
Stubblefield grew up in Chattanooga, TN. He began playing drums as a child, beating on tin cans, pasteboard boxes, and whatever else he could get hold of.
After leaving Brown around 1970, Stubblefield settled in Detroit briefly, then Madison, WI. Clyde Stubblefield played with the reconstituted JB's, and was the drummer for humorist Michael Feldman's show Whad' Ya Know, on public radio.
He also freelanced with groups based in Wisconsin. Stubblefield and Starks have collaborated on a series of instructional videos.
His and Jab'o's instructional video's, Soul of the Funky Drummers, special guest are Fred Wesley, John Scofield, John Medeski and Fred Thomas. The CD, Bring the Funk on Down, is produced by Fred Wesley. October 1999 he toured with the JB's in Japan.
Clyde was the WAMI 2000 Hall of Fame Inductee and was honored in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 8 May 2000. Clyde's drum sticks are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
In 2011 Stubblefield performed "Fight the Power" on the Jimmy Fallon show along with Chuck D and members of The Roots and Eclectic Method. In 2012 he gave an autobiographical talk and played some of his favorite beats at the Madison Ruby software conference in Madison, WI.
February 18, 2017: Clyde Stubblefield, who created famous drum break that was sampled on over 1,000 songs, dies at 73 from kidney failure. He had suffered from kidney disease since 2002, when he had a kidney operation.