Blowfly (Clarence Reid)

In ancient times, folks would gather around a record player to hear popular songs reworded into nasty, funky, sassy blasts of musical hilarity by a guy calling himself Blowfly. A janitor who took the bus to work at Pandisc Records for a time, Reid, a fine singer of legitimate songs as well as a comic wizard, let that label's boss, Bo Crane, record his shtick and release a number of Blowfly records. (Georgia-born Reid's nickname is another word for "maggot," so you can imagine how far he goes in his lyrics.) Not only were they gleefully naughty, but Blowfly platters became increasingly difficult to find. After all, these LPs seemed barely legal as well as immoral, and perhaps even fattening. All this was before 2 Live Crew changed music forever, partly through a Supreme Court ruling that parody is protected speech, a decision rendered after the Crew mocked Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman" and got sued by the singer's estate. Blowfly kept at it, but a few recordings and a video were about as much of a comeback as he could muster in the Nineties, when cussing and fucking with bitches became the norm for many artists. Then a few months ago word got out that regular soul singer/songwriter Clarence Reid had donned his stinger and weird getups once more to perform live as Blowfly. Let's hope he can keep it up longer and harder this time.


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