Clyde Austin Stubblefield passed away Saturday, February 18, 2017, after a long battle with kidney failure.
He was born on April 18, 1943, to Frank and Vena Stubblefield in Chattanooga, Tenn. Clyde’s musical career began when he was a toddler, he would pull out his mother’s pots and pans and crashed and clanked them together. Clyde grew up and worked various jobs until one day, his drumming talent impressed the Godfather of Soul. He often exclaimed how he didn’t read music, rather he played what he wanted to hear…what felt right. This talent became the Funky Drummer. Clyde traveled across the U.S. and overseas to meet fans from London, Germany, Japan and around the world. His musical career allowed him to participate in history. Clyde was dropped into Vietnam, under fire, to play for U.S. soldiers. On the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated Clyde was flown in with the band to play and keep the peace in Boston.
Clyde Stubblefield is recognized as one of the most influential drummers to a wide spectrum of musicians. He is also one of the most sampled artists and has played a key role in Hip Hop. While Clyde is known world-wide for his talent, his kindness is unprecedented to those who knew him best, his family, friends, pupils and fellow musicians. Clyde’s personality was energetic, he loved to joke and laugh and had a love for life. In 1970, Clyde moved to Madison and in 1987 he met the love of his life, Jody Hannon. At home, Clyde enjoyed playing poker with friends, Euchre with family and watching bad Sci-Fi movies. He lived to barbecue and shared his Chattanooga roots through his recipes. His influence touched his community and he loved to perform locally. Clyde was an advocate for young musicians, supporting school music programs and providing a scholarship fund for young talent. The world has lost a legend and a truly genuine man.
Clyde is survived by his wife, Jody M. Hannon; brother-in-law, Jeffery D. (Wendy) Hannon; and his beloved nieces and nephews, Bret (Stacey) Stubblefield, Rachael (Alfredo) Caceres, Brandon (Donielle) Meek, Darrell (Susan) Stubblefield, Angela Stubblefield, Frank Jr. Stubblefield, Danielle Holtz and Heather Zaemisch; and great nieces and nephews, Jamesetta, Marcus, Samuel, Jamie, Chase, Ava, Austin, Baily, Tobias, Savanah, Ezekiel, Thalia, Mason, Lexi, Xavier, Alisha and Tony. He was preceded in death by his father, Frank D. Stubblefield Sr.; his mother, Vena Stubblefield; his son, James “Dewney” Stubblefield, his brother, Frank D. Stubblefield Jr.; and his sister, Vivian Y. Stubblefield.
A memorial service will be held at THE MADISON CONCOURSE HOTEL, 1 W. Dayton St, Madison, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Friday, February 24, 2017. The honorary speaker will be Michael Feldman. The family has started a GoFundMe page https://www.gofundme.com/wqmy9-clyde-stubblefield-funeral-fund to help cover the expenses. Donations are greatly appreciated. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.