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Billy Bass Nelson

Billy Bass Nelson (William Nelson) was the original bassist for P Funk. He was born in Plainfield, New Jersey in 1951 and worked at George Clinton's barbershop, sweeping the floor and singing and dancing for the customers. Clinton, Nelson and some friends soon formed a doo wop barbershop quintet called The Parliaments. Nelson joined late because was in jail in Brookyn, New York for joyriding. He was originally the guitarist, only later switching to bass when Eddie Hazel was recruited to replace him.

Due to legal problems, The Parliaments alternated between the names Parliament and Funkadelic during the 1970s. Nelson invented the name "Funkadelic" to reflect the style (funk) and connect it with the then burgeoning psychedelic music scene.

Billy Bass Nelson left the group in 1971 after a financial squabble with George Clinton. He later played with The Commodores, Chairman of the Board, Fishbone, Jermaine Jackson, Parlet, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and Lenny Williams. He also rejoined Funkadelic to record the bassline on "Better By the Pound" (Funkadelic, Let's Take It To The Stage, 1975).

In 1994, Nelson had enjoyed a surge of name-checking by such legendary bassists as Norwood Fisher (of Fishbone) and Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) and he rejoined P Funk, releasing Out of the Dark with many old Funksters under the name O.G. Funk.