I met her once several years ago when she and George Clinton were in town doing some recording. A very sweet, very funny lady. Very much full of life.
If you haven't already checked out Derek's post of her three early 45s then you most definitely should. The song, "Grounded" is a particular favorite of mine.
But ya know, as nice as those records are, Ms. Woods will always have a place in my mind as a member of the P-Funk pantheon. She spent something like 14 years working with that most democratic of all Funk Masters.
Over the past ten years, going to see Clinton & Co. has become a kind of personal ritual. And a big part of that ritual has been hearing Ms. Woods lead into "Sentimental Journey"......'cause that's when you know the moment of ritualistic closure is at hand.
On a good night [and there are definitely bad ones] that moment can make ya feel like you've just received holy sacrament at the Church of Funk. As a wise man once said, there ain't NO party like a P-Funk party.
Having seen a couple of clips of the band without Ms. Woods, I can honestly say it isn't the same. But then others have been saying the same thing for years as the old crew died off or moved on. And yet, the latter day incarnation of P-Funk has had meaning to me even as others scoffed. Ya know, I happen to like the older, wiser, possibly even more generous P-Funk.
Here's a cut from the album Ms. Woods and Mr. Clinton were working on when I met her. Belita sings on several of the songs including this one. I doubt the folks of The Big Ol' Nasty Getdown will mind me giving you a listen, but it's a relatively new release, thus I'll only leave it up for a few days. You can get the album via either Amazon or iTunes. It's called, The Big Ol' Nasty Getdown Vol. 1., and has some very cool stuff on it.....not the least of which is some tasty guitar work by the late Gary Shider.
I had some trouble coming up with a video clip. Ya see, the cleanest available footage comes from a show at Montreux, but that show is far too 'staged' for my taste and the audience seems about half dead. Which is to say that my personal P-Funk experience has been somewhat rougher.....and a good deal more sweaty.
Thus I've chosen these clips. The first was filmed on a TV set, and is a bit 'staged' as well, but the energy level is def set on high. The second looks to have been shot in a club, but even if it wasn't, it still rings truer to the nature of the beast than the Montreux show. You may want to check your sound level before watching it as the the audio is close to being fried [which is why I like it].