Dyke & The Blazers – Let A Woman Be A Woman, Let A Man Be A Man

19th August 2021 · 1960s, 1969, Funk, Music, Soul

Dyke & The Blazers are best known for the original – and best – version of Funky Broadway, which went on to be a hit for Wilson Pickett. This tune from 1969 is even funkier.

The group was led by the splendidly named Arlester “Dyke” Christian – who would become one of music’s “27 Club” when he was shot dead in 1971.

The Buffalo-born bass player started out in a band called Carl LaRue & His Crew, who were hired to be the backing band of The O’Jays in Phoenix, Arizona.

When The O’Jays left town without paying their musicians, the band broke up and LaRue returned to Buffalo but Dyke and two others could not afford to go home.

They joined forces with a local Phoenix band called The Blazers, with Dyke as front man, and began performing in 1965, initially to raise money to get home to Buffalo.

But under their new name they began to take off when Funky Broadway – written by Dyke to go with a dance he’d invented – became a minor hit on a local label, and even more after Wilson Pickett took it into the Top Ten.

The group broke up soon afterwards but Dyke kept the name and this tune – edited down, like most others, from a long jam – was recorded in Los Angeles with some musicians who went on to play with Charles Wright, Bill Withers, Earth, Wind & Fire and The Watts 103rd Street Band.

In 1971 Dyke joined music’s tragic club that includes Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Kobain and Amy Winehouse when was shot and killed in the street in Phoenix.