Sweet Baby Lou & The Reverends of Funk: A Brief Tutorial

Sweet Baby Lou & The Reverends of Funk is a collective of University of Massachusetts students dedicated to abiding life by the Gospel of the Funk. The Reverends of Funk are, at the very least, a weekly college radio show which broadcasts weekly out of UMass’ campus radio station WMUA from 12-2 a.m. on Wednesday nights (technically Thursday mornings).

For a full history click read more below…

Originally founded by ‘Sweet’ Baby Lou Rodham Whittaker Jr. in the late 1970s as a funk program on the station, the show was canceled in the late ’90s as its founder spiraled into an array of personal problems and addictions. However, the show was reinstated by Reverends Pete Rizzo and Charlie Felder in 2008.

Since this rebirth, the show has been chronicling the local music scene at UMass Amherst and the greater Pioneer Valley area, providing an outlet for the campus’ musical expression and creativity on both its radio program and its website, which features video and downloads from its wide array of guests (which has included such notable campus celebrities as Motown Man, who dubbed the show “The rockinest show on WMUA,” as well as representatives from the SGA and campus political clubs).

Controversy soon followed. In the winter of 2009, the show was threatened with legal action by then-Late Night with Conan O’Brien Associate Producer Jordan Schlansky, for “pre-cognitive plagiarism.” Though charges were never filed, a war was sparked between the two programs. While it can not be confirmed, it has been suggested in some circles that this feud eventually led to the cancellation of the now-defunct “Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.”



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