Funk – James Gang | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#59); 1970

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

One of the most infectious riffs in classic rock runs through Funk #49 by Ohio’s James Gang. Drummer Jim Fox, bassist Tom Kriss, and guitarist Glenn Schwartz formed the Gang in 1966.

Schwartz soon left to join Pacific Gas & Electric – of Are You ready? fame – and was replaced by Joe Walsh. Producer Bill Szymczyk spotted the trio opening for Cream, and brought them to ABC Records.

Yer’ Album arrived in 1969. Included was a Fox/Kriss/Walsh track that started life as a soundcheck warm-up: Funk #48. Dale Peters replaced Kriss in time for 1970’s Rides Again. Its standout track one-upped Funk #48, a number with absolutely no hidden significance.

Credited to Fox, Peters, and Walsh, Funk #49 churned out of FM radios across America in the Fall of 1970. The James Gang placed Walk Away and Midnight Man on the singles list before Walsh stepped out solo. He later joined the Eagles, where he was reunited with producer Szymczyk for Hotel California.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • James Gang
  • Bill Szymczyk

Lyrics Written by:

  • Joe Walsh
  • Jim Fox
  • Dale Peters