Clarence Reid is a songwriter, producer, and musician who worked with the likes of Betty Wright, Bobby Byrd, Gwen McCrae, KC and the Sunshine Band, Dinah Washington
, and many more over the course of a career that spanned four decades. But when he wasn't busy making hits for other people or cutting records on his own, Reid had a profitable second career as Blowfly
, the world's filthiest and craziest R&B singer, recording a series of X-rated party albums in which he turned soul hits into hilarious tales of sexual perversity and wrote original tunes that offered freaky smut with a dance beat. (He also claims to have released the first rap record in 1965 with the rhyming sex tale "Rap Dirty.") Blowfly's records were underground hits in the 1970s, and artists from Ice-T
to Jello Biafra
have cited him as an influence. Almost 70 years old and struggling to make a living after a bad business deal cost him the rights to his songwriting catalog, Reid is still on the road, doing the Blowfly act wherever there's an audience that wants to see him. Filmmaker Jonathan Furmanski
offers a look into Reid's past and present in the documentary The Weird World of Blowfly
, which features plenty of footage of Blowfly on-stage and in the studio and explores the sometimes prickly relationship between Reid and his manager and bandleader, Tom Bowker. The Weird World of Blowfly
received its world premiere at the 2010 South by Southwest Film Festival.