Bernie Worrell

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George Bernard "Bernie" Worrell, Jr. (born April 19, 1944) is an American keyboardist and composer best known as a founding member of Parliament-Funkadelic and for his work with Talking Heads. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. Ice Cube called him the best keyboardist he has ever heard.[1]

Contents

Biography

Funk and soul

Worrell was born in Long Branch, New Jersey and grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey. A musical prodigy, he learned to play the piano by age three and wrote a concerto at age eight. He went on to study at Juilliard and the New England Conservatory of Music. As a college student around 1970, Worrell played with a group called Chubby & The Turnpikes (later to be known as Tavares). The drummer in that band was Joey Kramer, who left in October, 1970, to be a founding member of the rock band Aerosmith. He then met George Clinton, then the leader of a doo wop group called The Parliaments. Soon, Worrell, Clinton, The Parliaments and their backing band (Funkadelic) moved to Detroit, Michigan, and became Parliament. During the 1970s the same group of musicians toured and recorded under both the Parliament and Funkadelic names as well as several others, collectively known as Parliament-Funkadelic. Worrell was a central figure in the group. He played the piano, keyboards and organ in both groups and co-wrote or did the arrangements for many of the bands' hits. He debuted the keyboard synthesizer bass in popular music on the Parliament song "Flash Light". He also recorded a 1978 album with the group, All the Woo in the World, under his own name.

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