Exploring The Funk Music Hall of Fame & Exhibition Center

A glimpse of Mount Funkmore 

A glimpse of Mount Funkmore 

The Funk Music Hall of Fame & Exhibition Center in Dayton, Ohio exists as a mini-time capsule, transporting visitors to a decade when funk music thrived. Walking through the small, yet efficient exhibition, with David R. Webb (President and CEO, Chairman) dropping facts as my eyes and ears wandered, I gained a new appreciation of a genre I thought I knew.  Welcomed by the Mt Rushmore of funk, called Mount Funkmore, a hand painted mural honoring, Issac Hayes, George Clinton and more. I was welcoming of everything in store.

Dayton the perfect city for this type of display has strong roots in funk music in fact, it is often hailed one of the funkiest cities on earth.  Many of funk bands and artists have roots in south-western Ohio. Dayton and surrounding areas created the wave that would sweep the Black music scene.  Legendary names such as Ohio Players, Sun, Zapp & Roger, Roger Troutman, Slave, Heatwave, Lakeside, Faze-O all have roots to the Midwestern city.



Dayton kept us grounded. We were stars to the world, but Dayton was our home. We were a true show band. With all the musicians even if they were in school and learning, they had a world class show band as a model
— Marshall Jones , an original member of Ohio Players

Funk’s impact is evident.  One fact I learned while exploring the costumes, records and exclusive photos is funk music is one of the most sampled sounds in all music genres. Funk legends The Ohio Players have had their work sampled from everyone from Snoop Dogg to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Listening to Hip Hop and R&B, and watching the culture evolve to include and combine many genres and sounds, the influence of funk artists remains prevalent. From the fashion and aesthetic trends to the guitar riffs and bass lines, many new artists are still more funky than they may be aware of.

Photo inside of the Funk Museum and Exhibition Center in downtown Dayton. Photo: Amelia Robinson

Photo inside of the Funk Museum and Exhibition Center in downtown Dayton. Photo: Amelia Robinson

Walking back and forth and reading the details behind the museums many artifacts gave me a new appreciation of many things. One of the first spotlights, a collage created from the record covers that were the soundtracks of the funk lifestyle. Intrigued by the delicate patterns and jeweled, electronic outwear sported by many of the leading voices, displaying how funk music was truly carefree in nature and honest in sound.

As music and history tends to do, the funk center expanded beyond funk music and highlights icons of other genres who have been impacted in one way or another by the funk sound, namely Adina Howard who’s merchandise is on display. Many of the artifacts have been donated from the artists themselves or close friends or family to cement the legacy in stone.

Due to copyright infringements and legal issues, no photo or video coverage can take place from inside the Funk Center. Located at 113 E. Third St. you must travel to downtown Dayton, Oh and see for yourself.  The museum can be viewed by appointment only with private tour and solo exploring options, available for $10 or $5 donations respectively.  for Learn more and keep up with The Funk Music Hall of Fame & Exhibition Center by following them on social media listed below:

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