From the Stacks

From The Stacks: ‘The Adventures of Captain Sky’

Forgotten funk from the Captain!

History has a way of flattening out genres. Fifty years on, the British Invasion has been reduced to a handful of familiar names, but one doesn’t even have to go back that far.  Consider grunge, for example: Ask the casual listener who Tad or Screaming Trees were and you’re likely to get a blank stare.

So it is with funk, or more specifically ’70s funk and even more specifically spaced-out, costumed, psychedelic ’70s funk. We must be talking about the Parliament/Funkadelic/Bootsy triad, right? Fair guess, given that time has flattened that style of punk into All Things George Clinton, but not this time.

Captain Sky was the stage persona of Chicago’s Daryl Cameron. The conceit was that when Cameron “escaped into the phone booth of his mind” he emerged as Captain Sky, whose sole (soul?) superpower was making your booty move. The Adventures of Captain Sky was Cameron’s debut album, released in 1978. Four decades later it still sounds fresh and funky. Some of the production is dated (lots of hand claps, for example), but that’s all part of the fun.

Captain Sky even scored a coveted Soul Train appearance, wherein super smooth host Don Cornelius seemed bemused and befuddled by the Captain’s gimmick:

This one will only run you about ten bucks in good condition. Happy hunting.

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