TIR 48: Kym Yancey Is Here to Shine Light on Sun


Brought to you by FUNKNSTUFF.NET and hosted by Scott Goldfine — musicologist and author of “Everything Is on THE ONE: The First Guide of Funk” ― “TRUTH IN RHYTHM” is the interview show that gets DEEP into the pocket with contemporary music’s foremost masters of the groove.

Featured in TIR Episode 48 (two segments): Drummer-composer Kym Yancey, an original member of the great Dayton, Ohio funk band of the late 1970s and early 1980s, Sun. Yancey brought his jazz chops to the funky cosmic stew, collaborating with band mates like Sun leader and multi-instrumentalist Byron Byrd, and later guitar players Keith Cheatham and Sheldon Reynolds, to record five sizzling albums. The first one in 1976 contained their first significant hit and the jamming cut, “Wanna Make Love (Come Flick My Bic),” which included Roger and Lester Troutman several years before they launched their own successful careers. The next four records included gems like “”Light Me Up,” “Conscience,” “Boogie Bopper,” “Organ Grinder,” “Sun Is Here,” “Dance (Do What You Wanna Do),” “Long Drawn Out Thang,” “You Don’t Have to Hurry,” “Radiation Level” and “Hot Spot.”

After Yancey left in 1980, Sun would go on to release three more albums through 1984, including those bearing the dance-floor jams “Slamm Dunk the Ffunk!” and “Legs (Bring the Wolf Out in Me).” During Yancey’s tenure, the band amassed 7 charted R&B chart singles.

Amazingly, Yancey’s greatest success still laid ahead of him and not as an R&B recording star as he had envisioned. He fell into making jingles for various products and businesses, doing so well with it that he opened up an advertising agency that he sold 15 years later. Yancey then cofounded North America’s premier women’s business network, called eWomenNetwork, which grew to more than 500,000 members and 118 chapters across the United States and Canada. Since 2014, he has also been leading Live Happy, which promotes happiness through education, community, events, a dedicated magazine and more.

Although he has kept the pace of entrepreneurship, marketing and business more than the beat of funk drumming the past 35 years, the tunes Yancey laid down as part of Sun are as face-melting and beloved by fans today as they ever were. Here, from his Dallas-based offices, Yancey lights up talking about those precious times of yore that have become funk lore. His passion is infectious as he tells what made Sun shine so intensely.

Recorded March 2018