TIR 31: How Choc’Let Gave Graham Central Station S’more Funk

Patryce “Choc’Let” Banks with musical and personal partner, Larry Graham, shown playing acoustic guitar rather than the usual electric bass for which he was so famous.


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 this 2-part series: Patryce “Choc’Let” Banks, the original lead female singer and percussionist for Graham Central Station. Led by former Sly & the Family Stone slap-bass pioneer Larry Graham, as the self-proclaimed baddest group from East to West GCS was one of the down and dirtiest funk bands of the 1970s. As hot as Graham and the rest of the group’s players were, Choc’Let’s soulful, sultry and sassy vocalizing was as key to the band’s sound and success as any other ingredient.

GCS’ 1975 landmark funk LP Ain’t No Bout-a-Doubt It kicked off with the full-throttle funk assault of “The Jam,” in which Ms. Banks tantalizingly introduces herself as C-H-O-C-L-E-T, CHOC’LET! She was also upfront on that record’s No. 1 R&B hit, “Your Love.” Among the other hits and fantastic tracks GCS produced during their sweetest Choc’Let period that encompassed the band’s first four albums from 1974-1976, was “Release Yourself,” “Can You Handle It?” “Feel the Need,” “It’s Alright,” “Entrow,” “Love (Covers a Multitude of Sin),” “I Believe in You,” “Hair,” “Water,” “Ghetto” and so many others.

In the late 1970s, Choc’Let struck out on her own and went on to provide background vocals for numerous artists and released a solo album in 1980 called She’s Back and Ready. Some of the other acts that she performed or recorded with are B.B. King, Stephanie Mills, Rebbie Jackson, Chaka Khan, Wayne Henderson and the Crusaders, Ronnie Laws, Dr. Dre and Rose Royce. More recently, Choc’Let has written books including “A Choc’Let State of Mind” and “Deja View: Memoirs of a Funk Diva.” She has also teamed with Ronald “Stozo the Clown” Edwards, best known for his album cover artwork for P-Funk and other artists, to spearhead a movement called Fonk-O-Lution, which aims to give more attention to the funk music genre and elevate it to the level of respect and acclaim it so richly deserves.

Here, Ms. Banks shares all the fascinating history and stories from rubbing elbows with Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix to being a focal point of one of funk’s most powerful bands to striking out on her own.

Recorded November 2017



Scott Goldfine

As a fervid lifelong music & film enthusiast / student, I grew up in and around the Los Angeles entertainment industry. I have worked and held many positions in various media realms, since 1998 serving as Editor-in-Chief and now Associate Publisher for Security Sales & Integration, a trade publication serving the electronic security industry. I love several genres of music & film. The former includes funk (Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Ohio Players, etc.); blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Eric Gales, etc.); rock (Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, etc.); hard rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.); jazz (Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Crusaders, etc.); R&B (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Gil Scott-Heron, etc.); and more. I was a club disc jockey and ran a mobile DJ company (Musical Moods) for more than 15 years, which is where the name Dr. GX originates (Doctor Good Times). Fave film genres include horror (Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.); science fiction (Aliens, Terminator, 2001, etc.); action (Warriors, Road Warrior, Die Hard); westerns (Outlaw Josey Wales, Showdown at OK Corral; Wild Bunch, etc.); suspense (Jaws, Inception, Silence of the Lambs, etc.); drama (Apocalypse Now, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, etc.); and comedies (Life of Brian, Superbad, Ruthless People, etc.). I have attended many hundreds of concerts and movies (in theaters or screenings). I may as well also throw in a few favorite TV shows to give an even broader taste of my sensibilities. A handful would be Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Lost, Justified, Fargo, Seinfeld, Sopranos, South Park, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Key & Peele, Monty Python, Inside Amy Schumer, Louie, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Last Man on Earth, Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family and The Office. Fave authors are Stephen King, Clive Barker and Michael Crichton. I am also a big sports fan and lifelong supporter of the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB). Also enjoy my family of course, electronics/computers/AV gear, and animals, nature and outdoor activities. Graduate of Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica College and California State University Northridge (Radio-TV-Film, Psychology minor). Also studied at UCLA for kinesiology/psychology and earned post-grad Certificate in Accounting from Santa Monica College. Present main occupation is as Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Security Sales & Integration (SSI), which I joined in 1998. I am responsible for overseeing all editorial content in print. online, electronic, in-person and any other media or products for the electronic security industry's leading business-to-business trade publication. SSI is part of Framingham, Mass.-based Emerald Expositions.