Founded 1971, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
The Trenton, New Jersey the band started out with the line-up of:
Raymond Earl (bass)
Scotty Miller (drums) (b. Steven Scott Miller, 22nd August 1951, Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.A. d. 11th April 2017, Capital Health Regional Medical Center, Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.A.)
Kim Miller (guitar).
They later expanded to include:
Dennis Richardson (keyboards)
James Carmichael (lead vocals) (b. 19th April 1948, U.S.A. d. 12th February 2020, U.S.A.)
Larry Davis (horns)
Eric Huff (horns)
Johnny Onderlinde (horns)
Charles Williams (percussion)
Instant Funk were an R&B Philadelphia based group who backed many of the era’s most popular Soul artists
They are probably, best remembered for their dancer ‘I Got My Mind Made Up’, fom 1979, although U.K. club visitors, will have memories of the groups earlier release ‘It Ain’t Reggae, But It’s Funky’.
At this time the group went under the name of The Music Machine.
The Music Machine played backgrounds for many artists including The Manhattans, Bunny Sigler (who was responsible for the groups inception), Lou Rawls, Loleatta Holloway, The O'Jays, M.F.S.B., Curtis Mayfield and Evelyn Champagne King.
Relocating to Philadelphia in 1976, Instant funk signed to the TSOP imprint.
get down with the philly jump - 1976 / instant funk - 1979 / witch doctor - 1979 / the funk is on - 1980
That year they released their first album, ‘Get Down With the Philly Jump’ (which featured ‘It Ain’t Reggae, But It’s Funky’).
In 1977, they played on the Bunny Sigler album ‘Let Me Party With You’, an association which lasted several years with the singer and producer.
Instant Funk provided the instrumentation on several of Bunny's albums (including 'Keep Smilin') and Bunny worked as writer and producer on their debut.
In 1979, Instant Funk had switched labels to the Salsoul Records imprint, releasing a self titled album, which featured ‘I Got My Mind Made Up’ (produced by Bunny Sigler).
The song reached number 1 on both the R&B and disco charts and number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year.
A follow up album, entitled ‘Witch Doctor’ was released the same year.
looks so fine - 1982 / instant funk V - 1983
Their following Salsoul releases included 'The Funk Is On' (1980), ‘Looks So Fine’ (in 1982), ‘Instant Funk V’ (in 1983), and a final album 'Kinky' (also in 1983, featuring 'Just Because You'll Be Mine’).
kinky - 1983
In 1985 they briefly returned with a single for the Pop Art label, 'Tailspin', featuring Yves Sterling.
Incidentally, in 1971 their manager Jackie Ellis decided to rename the band to ‘Instant Funk’ due of their ability to, ‘find a groove and lock in to it instantly’.
Scotty Miller, sadly, passed away in 2017.
James Carmichael passed away from diabetes in 2020.
Get Down With the Philly Jump (TSOP Records 1976)
Instant Funk (Salsoul Records 1979)
Witch Doctor (Salsoul Records 1979)
The Funk Is On (Salsoul Records 1980)
Looks So Fine (Salsoul Records 1982)
Instant Funk V (Salsoul Records 1983)
Kinky (Salsoul Records 1983)