Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

The Parliaments

The Parliaments were an early doo-wop singing group from Plainfield, New Jersey. They were a quintet formed in the back room of a barbershop comprised of:

The group was based off Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, but quickly created a unique sound, including most notably very bizarre lyrics. While Clinton, the leader of the group, made weekly trips to Detroit to produce for such groups as The Pets and Roy Handy, the Parliaments switched labels repeatedly, releasing several EPs, including Poor Willy/Party Boys (APT), Lonely Island/Cry For Flip (Golden World) and Heart Trouble/That Was My Girl (Golden World) without success. In 1967, the Parliaments released I Wanna Testify for Revilot, and song went to #3 R&B and #20 Pop on the Billboard Music Charts. This was followed by a dispute with Revilot in 1968, and Clinton's renaming of the group as Funkadelic (which was more in keeping with the musical direction of the group, funk, and integrated the popular genre of psychedelic music), composed of the backing band for the Parliaments, including Billy Bass Nelson. When Revilot declared bankruptcy, the Parliaments were sold to Atlantic Records, and Clinton abandoned doo-wop to avoid working for Atlantic. Funkadelic, and its soon created sister group, Parliament, soon became the legendary creators of funk.

In 1995, many of the old Parliaments tracks were released on Goldmine/Soul as the album Testifyin'.

See also: P Funk, List of P Funk members