King Records And The Beginning Of Bootsy Collins Funk bassist and psychedelic soulster Bootsy Collins is known for his solid grooves and flashy style. Collins got his start at Cincinnati's famed King Records, where he began as a session musician before joining James Brown's band, The JBs.
NPR logo

King Records And The Beginning Of Bootsy Collins

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/113824955/113831155" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
King Records And The Beginning Of Bootsy Collins

King Records And The Beginning Of Bootsy Collins

King Records And The Beginning Of Bootsy Collins

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/113824955/113831155" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Bootsy Collins, along with is brother, began working as a session musician at King Records when he was 15. AP hide caption

toggle caption
AP

Bootsy Collins, along with is brother, began working as a session musician at King Records when he was 15.

AP

Funk bassist and psychedelic soulster Bootsy Collins began his career in the late 1960s, when he was plucked from relative obscurity to play in James Brown's back-up band, the JBs. Collins, who was born and raised in Cincinnati, had been a session player at King Records when James Brown first heard him.

During his time with James Brown and the JBs, Collins became a superstar of an emerging music genre known as funk. He left the JBs in 1971 to join forces with another funk superstar, George Clinton, playing bass in the group Parliament Funkadelic. Collins became known for adopting outrageous stage personalities like "Bootzilla", a sci-fi cartoon character who wore platform boots and star-shaped sunglasses.

Known for his talent as well as his flashy style, Collins has recorded with dozens of artists including Herbie Hancock, Phil Ramone and Keith Richards. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

More About King Records

This interview is part of a three-part 'Fresh Air' series about King Records.