“Yes! Yes! Thank you Cleveland! Thank you fans! Giving all honor and glory! Giving honor to God, Jesus Christ who’s the head of my life. Thanks to all the fans over the years. It’s been a long time. This is one of the happiest moments of my life. It’s been a long time, a long road. Enjoyed all the fun along the way. With all my buddies and with George (Clinton) and all the comrades. It’s been a joyful ride. Thank you!”
-Fuzzy Haskins at the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, May 6th, 1997.
Clarence Eugene Haskins, known to Funk fans worldwide as “Fuzzy,” was a prominent member of Parliament-Funkadelic since the early 1960s. At the start of the 1970s, both Parliament and Funkadelic would release albums on a number of record labels including Invictus, Casablanca, and Westbound. During this time Fuzzy Haskins emerged not only as a standout lead vocalist but also a phenomenal songwriter in his own right. What you’re about to encounter are Fuzzy’s greatest moments as a vocalist and songwriter.
MY AUTOMOBILE (Parliament- Osmium 1970)
Appearing on Parliament’s debut album, Fuzzy co-writes this comical adventure with George Clinton over country-fried grooves while losing a non-negotiable ultimatum to an unsuspecting member of the female species: Kiss or Walk!
UP FOR THE DOWN STROKE -(Parliament-Up For The Down Stroke-1974)
The title cut from Parliament’s first album for Casablanca Records brings the Funk Mob back to the top 10 on the Billboard R&B singles charts after a seven-year absence. Fuzzy shares writing chores with Clinton, keyboardist Bernie Worrell and bassist Bootsy Collins.
STANDING ON THE VERGE OF GETTING IT ON – (Funkadelic-1974)
Considered to be one of Fuzzy’s greatest vocal performances with the Funk Mob, “Standing On The Verge...” remains a P-Funk classic that is performed by the band to this day. Fuzzy’s sole execution near the end of the song is as powerful as it is mesmerizing.
COOKIE JAR-(Fuzzy Haskins-A Whole Nother Thang-1976)
Appearing on his first solo album released while still a member of P-Funk, “Cookie Jar” has been re-recorded by the P-Funk spin-off group Parlet as well as Prince, who added his own lyrics. His version remains officially unreleased.
NOT YET – (Fuzzy Haskins-Radio Active-1978)
One of the few tracks recorded during Fuzzy’s solo period on Westbound to be released as a single (7′ and 12″ format), Fuzzy contemplates “playing around in the garden” of an unaware female subject. The 12″ extended version of this track will take you there and back.
CONNECTIONS AND DISCONNECTIONS -(Funkadelic -1981)
Fuzzy co-leads a renegade version of Funkadelic (along with former Parliament vocalists Grady Thomas and Calvin Simon) at the start of the 1980s. The first single released from this project competes almost head to head with the George Clinton-led Funkadelic single “The Electric Spanking Of War Babies.” In a sort of weird twist, the renegade Funkadelic is able to secure an appearance on Soul Train later that year.
Clarence Eugene “Fuzzy” Haskins took his final bow on March 16th, 2023 due to complications from diabetes. He was awarded for his lifelong musical contributions in the form of induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys in 2019.
Photo: Parliament (courtesy of the author and Groove Maneuver Archives)
PS — While we’re on the topic of Rock History, you might enjoy our YouTube series of daily one-minute nuggets of memorable moments…