As part of its ongoing efforts to preserve local pop music history, Wright State Special Collections & Archives has partnered with the future Funk Hall of Fame and Museum. This partnership provides for the collection and preservation of the historic materials documenting the rich legacy of not only Dayton’s funk music, but also funk music worldwide. Whether materials from Dayton’s Ohio Players or Scotland’s the Average White Band, funk’s legacy will be documented and preserved for future generations. Any materials donated to Special Collections and Archives will be used to support the mission of the Funk Hall of Fame and Museum in future exhibits and events.
For the museum, the partnership guarantees a safe, secure, and environmentally controlled storage facility for the documents. For Special Collections and Archives, the agreement sheds light on its broader efforts to collect Dayton’s pop music history. Regarding funk, Dayton is noted for being an epicenter of funk music, producing numerous bands in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, all with chart-topping success. The Ohio Players, Lakeside, Faze-O, Heatwave, Sun and Zapp, to name a few, all called Dayton home. These bands were enmeshed in the west Dayton communities from which they came and many still live in the Miami Valley Region.
Dayton’s popular music history should be just as much a part of its story as the Wright Brothers, the Old Courthouse, or Rike’s Christmas window displays. Integral to the soul and spirit of a city, popular music gives voice to the people and expresses their joys, longings, and struggles. This history is as much in need of preservation as any other in the Miami Valley.
The images in this post all come from MS-458, the Dayton Daily News Archive.
You can also check out the news story & video about this partnership published online in the Dayton Daily News on April 18, 2014.