45 Friday: DYKE AND THE BLAZERS – Let A Woman Be A Woman, Let A Man Be A Man


By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

One of these days we’ll get around to telling the story of Buffalo’s second-best-known Funksters (behind Mr. Rick James), the fantastic Dyke & The Blazers.

That story has been told before: in a Friday 45 post on pre-Dyke & The Blazers band Carl LaRue & His Crew by Elmer Ploetz, and in greater depth in a Buffalo Magazine (Buffalo News) story by Elmer. You can find that story here: http://www.wnywebshop.com/ploetz/dyke.html

Maybe when we get around to taking another look at them we can find some new angles of interest.

The quick story is that Arlester “Dyke” Christian joined Carl LaRue’s Buffalo band as he was learning to play the bass. That band put out records and achieved moderate success playing live, but eventually most of them found themselves stranded in Arizona after a stint playing backup for The O’Jays. While playing the clubs of Phoenix they tightened up their act and wrote some original material. A customer heard them playing their new “Funky Broadway” and becoming their manager got them into a studio.

“Funky Broadway” went from 1966 local hit to national after L.A.’s Original Sound Records bought it out from their original small indie label. And the rest is history. They had quite a string of singles, and eventually albums. Over the years, some of the original Buffalo musicians left though Dyke of course was always there. But some of the Buffalo guys came back and Dyke hired some new ones, as he knew he could count on their musicianship.

Unfortunately hard drugs had entered the picture and Dyke enjoyed the street life. At one time he had been a master of the Funk idiom of Soul – which he helped create – to the point that his music approached that of the acknowledged master James Brown. In the end (1971) he unfortunately died in the street, shot down, in some kind of street business.

Today’s tune is the very very funky “Let A Woman Be A Woman, Let A Man Be A Man”. There is absolutely NO relation between this song and any recent controversies involving former Olympic decathlon atheletes. So DON’T EVEN…..!

2 thoughts on “45 Friday: DYKE AND THE BLAZERS – Let A Woman Be A Woman, Let A Man Be A Man

  1. Hey Bob, I have been watching a bidding war on Ebay, on a Buffalo local record label KKC. The song was composed, produced & performed by a local Buffalo artist, Jimmie Raye. I have seen previous bids go into the thousand on this original release.. First I check to see if it is a genuine original, after verifying, I enjoy watching the bid. “Philly Dog Around The world” is & it appears will always be extremely popular in ‘the records collector’s’ world. This is a happening now!! Let “The Jimmie Raye Soul Thing” take you higher. By the way, my birthday was yesterday, I am 76, wow !!! Plus, I still have a devastating jump shot on the court. Cheers, Jimmie Raye 

  2. Jimmie- Happy Birthday! Thanks for writing. hey, thanks for the music! I have some of yours but not that one. I’ve never found one locally and don’t know anyone else you has. I think it didn’t even get distributed here much, most of the copies were sent to NYC and other cities? I did just find three copies of one on Asante (I think that’s the name). Again, happy birthday and enjoy watching the auction.

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