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The Flashlight
Listing of Past Flashlight Features
"Meet Godmoma"
Here's the Deal on the Greatest P-Funk Girl Group You Never Knew

Godmoma's 1981 Elektra release, Godmoma Here.

Welcome to the world of Godmoma, Bootsy's funky girl group, who released one (and only one) record, a thick slab of female funk known as Godmoma Here.

The following is the official Elektra Records bio for Godmoma, sent out in November of 1981 to promote their debut album to the press.

While the album did not do well commercially, it is an obscure, coveted P-Funk collectors' treasure which features ahead-of-its-time grooves courtesy of Bootsy and Catfish Collins, the Horny Horns, other P-Funk guest stars, and of course the girls of Godmoma. Meet them here and learn about the greatest P-Funk girl group you never knew!

(Thanks muchos to John Harp of the Women in Music Project for contributing this press release for One Nation to present to you!)

"Raise your hands, give up the funk. It's a stick-up for your rump!" That's right, children of funk, it's time to stop behaving yourselves, put on a smile as wide as the sky and let your feet feel the beat -- because your Godmoma is here. No she ain't gonna spank you; but she is going to rock you silly with some of the tightest female vocals and harmonies in the world of funk/soul/pop music.

Godmoma Here is the first LP for the dynamic trio -- Cynthia Girty (Sugar Baby), Tony Walker (T-Baby), and Carolyn Myles (Baby Kay) -- but the spirited harmonies of Godmoma have been heard on many a Motor City album track. Between them, the ladies have pro experience dating back to the '50s. Girty and Walker have been staple songwriters-background vocalists for Detroit-based artists such as Bobby Womack, David Ruffin and Johnny Taylor, and for the last two years, with Ms. Myles, the three have been regularly recorded in Motor City studios.

So who put these "newly-found" princesses of funk up front? Who else but the irrepressible funkmaster himself, Mr. Bootsy Collins. Bootsy more or less stumbled upon Godmoma one evening when, while recording Ultra Wave, his latest release, his background singers didn't show and our trio showed up to save the session. One listen and Bootsy was flabergasted.

"We were in the studio with Bootsy," says T-Baby, "and he stopped right in the middle of his album and started recording ours. That's what you call being in the right place at the right time."

Bootsy and Godmoma instantly hit a harmonious chord. When producer Bootsy wasn't gracing the girls with their respective nicknames, breaking them up with rubber-like slapstick faces or just generally keeping the energy level high, he was writing tunes for Godmoma Here. Among his contributions are "Spice," co-written with brother Catfish Collins; "Be All You Can Be," co-written with Sly Stone; and the title track, "Godmoma Here." Among the gentler moments on the LP is "I Like It," co-written by Baby Kay. Bootsy also dubbed the trio Godmoma, as he explains: "James Brown has always ben the Godfather of Soul, and I thought it was time we had some Godmomas running around." So get ready, y'all, because Godmoma is definitely Here -- funking, bumping and causing all sorts of delicious trouble. "Too good to be forgotten," says T-Baby. That's right. You won't forget Godmoma Here.

Individually, Godmoma is:

Cynthia Girty

Cynthia Girty (Born August 26, 1947 in Detroit) -- "I've been writing music and singing ever since I can remember," says Girty, alias Sugar Baby, who began her professional music career at age 12, cutting records on the Mercury label. During her early teens she was making records in the local Detroit studios with various bands, including her very own Cynthia and the Imaginary Three. But Girty's career as an artist never took off the way she knew it should, so during her 20s, the soulful vocalist supported other artists with precision background vocals and songs, mostly teaming up with Godmoma Tony Walker. "I've been singing for years, but this is the first real thing that's ever happened," Girty says of her present status as Godmoma's Sugar Baby. Producer and "discoverer" Bootsy Collins is "Number One" in her book these days for finally opening a door for Girty which could put her next to her long-time musical mentors Gladys Knight and Dionne Warwick. "Oh, yes!" she howls, "that's all I can say." Girty looks forward to someday producing and running a studio with the other members of he group, and perfecting her own talents as a songwriter. "Music is all I know," she confesses. "It's my living. It's my hobby. It's my life." When Sugar Baby isn't getting funky with Godmoma, however, she does have her hands full, being a real moma -- she shares four children with Ken, her husband of 17 years; they're ages seven through 16 and all Virgos like their moma.

Tony Walker

Tony Walker (Born Anita Walker on February 24, 1945 in Detroit) -- Funny as she is funky, Ms. Walker's proverbial sense of humor and hearty vocals have also been on the Detroit recording scene since the early days. Walker made her first record at age 12 as a member of the Lollipops for United Artists. Later, Godmoma's T-Baby hooked up as a writer and vocalist for Motown, having two songs which did well in the Motor City -- "Step Aside Baby" and "Cheating Is Telling On You." When the bright lights of Hollywood seduced Motown from Detroit, however, Walker found herself without a local label to sing for. "I never really thought Motown would leave," she recalls. "When they left, I sort of took a break for awhile and started working on the side." Music has always been her calling, though, and several years ago Walker teamed up with Ms. Girty and "started fooling around" in the studios again, writing and singing background for a host of Motor City artists, including Bobby Womack, and David Ruffin. About her new association with Godmoma and Bootsy, Walker has only glowing words: "Working with Bootsy has been the greatest experience; he knows how to bring out the best in us. It's really not like working at all." With Godmoma, Walker hopes to start a "Godmoma movement -- spiritual love of the most sensous kind," as well as "own a bank, so we don't have to worry about financing." "Our rewards finally are here," says the veteran vocalist in all seriousness. "And we deserved it. Godmoma ate it up, spit it out and we did it our way." When she's not in the studio with the other members of Godmoma, Walker, who says she's "single and loves to mingle" likes to draw, play tennis and run her neighborhood arcade business for the kids on the side.

Carolyn Myles

Carolyn Myles (Born January 12, 1962 in Detroit) -- Just because she's the baby girl of the group doesn't mean Myles is any less of a trouble-maker. And she's got the voice to prove it. A gospel singer in her local church since a young girl, Myles started working clubs during high school as the lead singer for several Detroit groups. She won her share of talent show trophies and the like, but wanted to do more with music than just sing. "I wanted to portray something good, something you could get a message from." Myles found that "something" in 1979 when she met Cynthia Girty and Tony Walker at MultiMedia Studios. A spark ignited, and the three joined forces as "Free Spirit" to provide the exciting background vocals which soon blew Bootsy away. "I don't think I could have met three better people to learn from," Myles says of Bootsy and the other members of Godmoma. "Bootsy is crazy. His energy level is so high that it keeps us going. We've been in the studio from sundown to sunup, laughing all the time." With Godmoma, Myles plans to do that something special as an artist, but also develop her music business savvy. "I work at it because I'm never satisfied," she says. "Every time I do something, I know I can still do it better."


Female funksters since the dawn of funk have had their heartthrobs in the form of Parliment (sic), Funkadelic, Bootsy's Rubber Band and similar groups dating back to the heydey of James Brown. Now, thanks to the far reaching funk-o-vision of Bootsy Collins and three talented female vocalists, the male funk devotees have a Godmoma to feed their fantasies. Godmoma Here includes seven sweet, bumping melodies sure to please even the most discriminating funkophile. "Get ready, because here we come," says T-Baby. "Godmoma be vibing on you, honey." That's right. James Brown, we love you, but Godmoma is here!

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