TIR 84: Rotary Connection’s Sidney Barnes Spins His Rock & Soul Odyssey


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 84 (2 Parts): Singer, songwriter, arranger and producer Sidney Barnes, who has been active in music since the early 1960s as a staff writer for Motown, member of Rotary Connection and working with George Clinton, The Jackson 5, The Supremes, Deniece Williams, Minnie Ripperton, B.B. King and many others.

According to Wikipedia, he has appeared on more than 150 albums. Barnes is also famous for spotting, encouraging and mentoring young talent, including Donny Hathaway, Maurice White and Chaka Khan. He also recorded on his own and when starting out as a member of the doo-wop group The Serenaders. Barnes’ writing credits include “Come See Me” by The Pretty Things; “I Bet You” by Funkadelic and The Jackson 5; “I Can’t Shake It Loose” by The Supremes; “Long Live Our Love” by The Shangri-Las; and “Watch Yourself” by B.B. King. His career was rejuvenated in the late 1990s when his 1960s works were embraced by fans in England as part of the Northern Soul boom. In 2006, he released a 600-page autobiography titled, “Standing on Solid Ground.”

In this in-depth interview, Barnes serves up a Forrest Gump-like account of his encounters with all manner of music industry stars and figures from the 20th century. Highlights include his stints at Motown and Chess Records, lifelong association with George Clinton, being a core member of Rotary Connection, counseling Maurice White and hanging out with Janis Joplin. Plus, he’s got new music to share. It’s 60 years of rock and soul history from the mind of a man who was there for much of it, Mr. Sidney Barnes.