As the story in the article states Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited the Bahamas many times I remember in 1962 my father Freddie Munnings Sr. OBE on a Saturday invited me along with my mother Winifred Munnings to accompany him to the Sheraton British Colonial Hotel where he was to meet a friend from the USA. On arriving at the hotel we were met by a distinguished black gentleman and his wife, when introduced it turned out to be Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta King his wife, it was then I learnt we were going on a fishing trip. Once we were in the open waters two hours passed I saw no fishing lines or bait I became concerned, went to my father and asked,"Daddy what time are we going to start fishing?" With a laugh in his voice his reply was "No Ray we are not here to fish, I brought you and your mother to meet Martin a great Black man from the United States who is fighting for the equal rights of the Black People in America. He will be a Great and famous man some day." I was then formally introduced to Dr. King and he asked me if I wanted to be a musician like my father, my response was "Yes Sir" he then looked at me and said "Ray remember this anything that you do in life you must give it 100% and you must be better than your father, because he made it better for you." Those words stuck with me and when I heard of his assassination in 1968 I was deeply saddened knowing I had personally met this Giant of a man. This inspired me to write the lyrics "Sleep On Dream On" along with my cousin Tyrone "Dr Offfff" Fitzgerald after hearing Dr. King's "I have a Dream" speech. The song was recorded by The Beginning of the End in 1971, consisting of Raphael (Ray) Munnings , Leroy (Roy) Munnings, Frank (Bud) Munnings and Fred Henfield this was the group that recorded the first million selling record "Funky Nassau" that came out of the Bahamas. There is one more thing that comes to mind that my father said was that any time Dr. King was coming to visit him in the Bahamas he would send a telegram saying "Violets are Blue" this was a secret code which meant to expect Dr. King in one week because he did not want too many people to track his whereabouts.
FUNKY NASSAU debuted on the Billboard 100 chart #94, Peaked #15, and stayed on for 14 Weeks The Beginning of the End released an album entitled Funky Nassau in 1971 on Alston Records (a subsidiary of Atlantic Records), and the track "Funky Nassau - Part I" became a hit single in the U.S., peaking at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and #7 on the Billboard Black Singles chart. The same track reached #31 in the UK Singles Chart in March 1974.
The Beginning of the End was a group from The Bahamas that consisted of three brothers, Raphael, Leroy & Frank Munnings and a fourth member on bass Fred Henfield. Their only hit "Funky Nassau" on Billboard's Hot 100 was a lyrical ode to their home city. From its Junkanoo beat to its island brass parts mixed with American funk, its description of "mini-skirts, maxi-skirts and Afro hairdos,"the song extolled the virtues of the group's Bahamian base.
A surprise hit, it reached the top 15 on both the pop and R&B charts. It was a success for Henry Stone during his days at Atlantic Records, and the money he earned helped him start up TK Records in Miami which introduced KC & The Sunshine Band shortly thereafter.
Funky Nassau 40th. Anniversary Celebrated in Nassau Bahamas October 2011 at a concert for the victims of hurricane Irene hosted by GEMS FM. Raphael Munnings Lead Singer of the musical group" Beginning of the End" introduces Raphael Munnings II first time on stage together a Historic Event. Much thanks to group Visage for their help and support. A U-Star Video Production. Videographer: Wendy Munnings Editor: Raphael Munnings Contact us (email) email@example.com