Paul Winley

b. USA. Winley was a veteran R&B producer and songwriter, running the Paul Winley Jazzland Ballroom on Harlem’s 125th Street, before setting up Winley Records in the same location. His musical interests…
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Artist Biography

b. USA. Winley was a veteran R&B producer and songwriter, running the Paul Winley Jazzland Ballroom on Harlem’s 125th Street, before setting up Winley Records in the same location. His musical interests began when his brother was a member of the Clovers in his native Washington, for whom Paul wrote songs. He went on to compose for Ruth Brown and Joe Turner. Together with Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez he formed a partnership recording doo-wop groups like the Duponts, Paragons, Collegians and Jesters. His introduction to rap music came at the behest of his daughters, Tanya and Paulette, the former recorded ‘Vicious Rap’. He became famed for a series of compilations entitled Disco Brakes, produced by DJ Jolly Roger, which won him his first admirers, combining as it did some of the most popular ‘breaks’ over which the park rappers would improvise routines. Popular cuts included Dennis Coffey’s ‘Scorpio’ and New Birth’s ‘Gotta Get Knutt’. Super Disco Brakes would add standards like James Brown’s ‘Funky Drummer’ (the so-named percussionist, Clyde Stubblefield, would later be immortalised on Subsonic 2’s ‘Unsung Heroes Of Hip Hop’) and Incredible Bongo Band’s ‘Apache’ (versions of which would appear on Sugarhill Records - the first by the Sugarhill Gang and the second by West Street Mob - who featured the Robinson’s son, Joey Jnr.), as well as the Meters and Creative Source. Yet until the aforementioned Sugarhill started he never took the opportunity to record anything by the rappers who were buying this product. When ‘Rapper’s Delight’ hit he finally realised its potential, releasing records by, among others, his daughters, who rapped together on ‘Rhymin’ And Rappin’’. Other outstanding releases included Afrika Bambaataa’s Zulu Nation Throwdown Parts 1 And 2. However, Bambaataa became hugely aggrieved at Winley’s business practices, notably the release of one of his live sets as the ‘Death Mix’, which was of substandard quality and essentially a bootleg. Indeed, Winley would later be arrested for bootlegging activities and copyright infringement.