Clyde Austin Stubblefield (April 18, 1943 – February 18, 2017) was an American drummer best known for his work with James Brown. A self-taught musician, he was influenced by the sound of natural rhythms around him. His drum patterns on Brown’s recordings are considered funk standards. He recorded and toured with Brown for six years and settled in Madison, Wisconsin, where he was a staple of the local music scene. Often uncredited, samples of his drum patterns were heavily used in hip-hop music. He was the recipient of an honorary doctorate in fine arts.
Born to Frank D. and Vena Stubblefield on April 18, 1943, he grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a youngster his sense of rhythm was influenced by the industrial sounds of factories and trains around him. He was inspired to pursue drumming after seeing drummers for the first time in a parade. He played professionally as a teenager. In early 1960s he worked with guitarist Eddie Kirkland and toured with Otis Redding.