Raphael Munnings - BAHAMAS
Raphael Munnings 1972
RAPHAEL MUNNINGS WAS BORN ON JULY 7TH. 1947, IN NASSAU, BAHAMAS TO FREDERICK (FM SR.) AND WINIFRED MUNNINGS. THE MUNNINGS, A VERY MUSICAL FAMILY, FREDDIE SR. PLAYED THE SAXOPHONE AND CLARINET.

RAPHAEL FIRST PERFORMED ON STAGE AT THE AGE OF FOUR IN THE
'SILVER SLIPPER CLUB' ON EAST STREET WITH HIS FATHER AND FELL IN LOVE WITH THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS. RAPHAEL'S LOVE FOR MUSIC WAS ENHANCED DURING HIS EARLY YEARS BECAUSE OF HIS EXPOSURE TO ALL THE INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS THAT APPEARED LIVE AT HIS FATHER'S NIGHTCLUB, THE WORLD RENOWN 'CAT & FIDDLE', ARTISTS SUCH AS NAT KING COLE, HARRY BELAFONTE, JERRY BUTLER, ARETHA FRANKLIN, THE IMPRESSIONS, JAMES BROWN AND THE LIST GOES ON. BEING INSPIRED BY ALL THESE PERFORMERS, RAPHAEL SAID "I WANT TO BE JUST LIKE THAT ONE DAY".

WHILE ATTENDING ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE (HIGH SCHOOL) IN NASSAU, RAPHAEL FORMED A GROUP 'THE VIBRATIONS' WHICH PERFORMED AT ALL THE LOCAL CLUBS AND EVENTS OF THE DAY. 'THE VIBRATIONS' MEMBERS WERE ATHAMA BOWE, OSWALD BROWN, ROBERT 'SMITTIE' SMITH AND JOINED LATER BY COUSINS, RICHARD MUNNINGS AND TYRONE 'DR. OFFFFF' FITZGERALD.

AFTER GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL, RAPHAEL WAS GIVEN A CLUB
'THE GHANA ROOM' BY HIS FATHER WHICH HE RENAMED THE 'LION'S DEN'. THE CLUB BECAME VERY POPULAR BUT RAPHAEL DECIDED TO ADVANCE HIS CAREER, CLOSED THE CLUB AND FORMED ANOTHER GROUP, ROY MUNNINGS - GUITAR, FRANK 'BUD' MUNNINGS - DRUMS, FRED HENFIELD - BASS GUITAR AND RAPHAEL -- VOCALS AND KEYBOARD , THE GROUP KNOWN AS
'THE BEGINNING OF THE END'. AFTER MANY MONTHS OF HARD WORK, THEY PRODUCED A SONG CALLED 'FUNKY NASSAU'. THE SONG WAS WRITTEN BY RAPHAEL AND HIS COUSIN TYRONE 'DR. OFFFFF' FITZGERALD IN LATE 1970 WHICH BECAME A MILLION SELLER, AN INSTANT HIT WORLDWIDE. THIS WAS THE DIPLOMA AFTER GRADUATING FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF THE CAT & FIDDLE. 'FUNKY NASSAU', A 45 RECORD BECAME THE #1 SONG IN THE BAHAMAS AND SOON WAS PICKED UP BY HENRY STONE OF ALSTON RECORDS, A MIAMI BASED COMPANY AND THE REST AS THEY SAY IS HISTORY. 'FUNKY NASSAU' STARTED IN FLORIDA QUICKLY BECOMING THE #1 ON WMBM RADIO STATION, WAS PICKED UP BY ATLANTIC RECORDS FOR WORLD WIDE DISTRIBUTION, WAS CHARTED BY BILLBOARD, CASHBOX AND RECORD WORLD AND WENT TO THE TOP 10 OF ALL MUSIC CHARTS CROSSING OVER FROM THE R&B TO POP CHARTS. THIS ALL STARTED IN MARCH 1971 AND BY JULY EVERY RADIO STATION IN THE UNITED STATES WAS PLAYING 'FUNKY NASSAU'. ALTHOUGH THE SONG TOPPED ALL OF THE INTERNATIONAL RECORD CHARTS, THE GROUP NEVER TOURED. RAPHAEL THEN DECIDED TO PERFORM SOLO. HE PERFORMED AT ALL OF THE TOP HOTELS IN THE BAHAMAS AND THEN RELOCATED TO MIAMI BEACH ALSO WORKING AT TOP HOTELS FOR 3 YEARS. HE NOW DECIDED IT WAS AN OPPORTUNE TIME TO WORK IN ATLANTIC CITY AND LAS VEGAS AND THEN THE WORLD. RAPHAEL TOURED FOR ABOUT 10 YEARS AND DURING THIS TIME HE ANNUALLY PERFORMED IN NEW ORLEANS AT THE JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL WINNING THOUSAND OF LOYAL FANS AND WHERE HE WAS AWARDED A KEY TO THE CITY. DURING THIS TIME RAPHAEL WORKED WITH MANY TOP ENTERTAINERS AND MUSICIANS. RAPHAEL HAS 3 ALBUMS TO HIS CREDIT, 'FUNKY NASSAU', 'THE BEGINNING OF THE END' AND 'IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU'.

BY 1999 ANOTHER STROKE OF LUCK HIT WHEN DAN AYKROYD OF THE BLUES BROTHERS FAME DECIDED TO INCLUDE 'FUNKY NASSAU', THE SONG, IN HIS MOVIE 'BLUES BROTHERS 2000'. THE SONG WAS PERFORMED BY SOME OF THE TOP MUSICIANS IN THE UNITED STATES WITH VOCAL PERFORMANCES BY JOE MORTON, JOHN GOODMAN, DAN AYKROYD AND ERYKAH BADU AND ARRANGED BY PAUL SHAFFER. THIS GAVE RAPHAEL A NEW LEASE ON HIS MUSICAL LIFE AND HE DECIDED TO RESURRECT HIS MUSICAL CAREER. TO DATE THERE ARE AT LEAST 20 TOP RECORDING ARTISTS WORLD WIDE INCLUDING CARLOS SANTANA, HERBIE MANN, ROY AYERS AND CANDY DOLPHER WHO HAVE RE-RECORDED THEIR OWN VERSIONS OF THE MONSTER HIT 'FUNKY NASSAU' AND CAN BE HEARD OR SEEN ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB, YOUTUBE, MY SPACE AND ALL THE OTHER SOCIAL NETWORKS.

RAPHAEL HAS HAD A LOVE FOR MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT THAT SPANDS SOME 60 YEARS AND JOINING WITH BAHAMIAN GRAMMY AWARD WINNING MUSICAL GROUP BAHAMEN HAS DECIDED TO RELAUNCH HIS MUSICAL CAREER AT THE NEW ORLEANS JAZZ AND HERITAGE FESTIVAL 2011 WHICH WILL COMMEMORATE THE 40TH. ANNIVERSARY OF 'FUNKY NASSAU'.

RAPHAEL ALONG WITH HIS WIFE, WENDY AND SON, RAPHAEL 11 HAVE BEEN OPERATING A MULTI-MEDIA PRODUCTION COMPANY (U-STAR VIDEO PRODUCTIONS) FOR THE PAST 23 YEARS.

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