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Feb 17 2021

‘Blues for the 1980s’: Funk Bands in Dayton, Ohio

Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies and Department of History, UCLA

Lecture by Scot Brown
Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies and Department of History, UCLA

The city of Dayton, Ohio, was a wellspring of Black self-contained bands signed to major record labels in the 1970s.  Most of the groups that had flourished in the late 1970s went on to collide into a wall of hard times during the Reagan era – facing band break-ups, industry abandonment, and changing consumer tastes.  This presentation explores the story of Zapp—a Dayton-based band who managed to prevail and thrive during the 1980s by embracing new sound technologies and participating in novel forms of social and artistic activism.

Dr. Scot Brown is an associate professor of African American Studies and History at UCLA. Brown is the author of the book Fighting For Us and has penned numerous articles on African American history, social/political movements, music, and popular culture. He is a contributing author and the editor of the book, Discourse on Africana Studies. Brown is in the process of completing a book project exploring the city of Dayton, Ohio as a 1970s musical hotbed of soul and funk bands. Brown has appeared as an expert commentator on African American music and popular culture for many programs on television, radio, and social media: KLRU, National Public Radio, Sirius/XM Radio, DATV, BET/Centric, TV One, and VH1.  Additionally, Brown has appeared in several documentaries on the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, including the PBS documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.

Part of the Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy Colloquium Series, this event is made possible thanks to The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Department of Ethnomusicology, with additional support from the Dean of The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. 


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is eager to provide a variety of accommodations and services for access and communications. If you would like to request accommodations, please do so 10 days in advance of the event by emailing ADA@schoolofmusic.ucla.edu or calling (310) 825-0174.


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). As a land grant institution, we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.