From Wikipedia.org:Stephen “Doc” Kupka (a.k.a. “The Funky Doctor”) is an American baritone saxophone player and composer, best known as a founding member of the band Tower of Power.
In 1968 Kupka met tenor saxophonist Emilio Castillo and joined his soul music cover band ‘The Motowns,’ based in Oakland, California. Kupka convinced Castillo to start performing original songs, and they changed the band’s name to Tower of Power. The band recorded their first album, East Bay Grease, in 1970. Kupka has been with Tower of Power ever since, and is also responsible for co-writing (with Castillo) many of the band’s best-known songs.
According to his bio on the Bump City site, the “Doc” plays a Yamaha YBS-62 Bari Sax, Berg Larsen 130 facing metal mouthpiece, and Rico Plasticover 1.5 strength reeds.
Kupka has also recorded with numerous other artists, including The B-52’s, Chicago, Dan Fogelberg, Heart, Elton John, Huey Lewis & the News, Little Feat, and Bonnie Raitt.
In 1998, Kupka founded Strokeland Records along with Andy Ebon as a platform for his own songwriting. Strokeland Records grew to include numerous other soul, jazz, and funk artists.
In 2006, Steve Finch took over as Director of Operations for Strokeland Records, as Kupka began work on two new releases: “Doc Goes Hollywood”, a collection of his songs written in the “Great American Songbook” style; and “Bumped Up to First Class”, a new collection of Kupka’s classic soul songs in the early Tower of Power style.
I’ve loved TOP since I saw you live in 77 and catching your 2017 tour in Orem Utah this year was a freaking blast! Your new singer is perfect and has TOP flowing in his veins too! Thanks for giving me the funk and the energy to move forward whenever I’m dragging. Keep Blowing and funk and soul on fire!
As a high school sophomore playing alto saxophone in 72, that all changed when I saw ToP and heard you playing the Bari-Sax. Next day, I stepped up to the band instructor and informed him I wanted to play the Bari! Made the Jazz Band, went to Towson, played for Stan Kenton and Count Basie and others and never looked back. Thanks for giving me soul, Bari-soul that is!
Doc, thanks for yrs and dedication to music. First time I heard you guys was in fresno CA. back in 1973.