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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Motown Loses Its Bottom End

When musicians, especially bass players, refer to Motown records of the 60's and early 70's, they  usually think about the late great James Jamerson, who anchored many, but not all of those great hits. A bass player who played on just as many hits but has never gotten nearly as much acclaim is Bob Babbitt, who played on big hits like Smokey Robinson's "Tears Of A Clown," Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," Marvin Gaye's "Mercy, Mercy Me,Gladys Night and the Pips "Midnight Train To Georgia," The Capitol's "Cool Jerk" and many more.

Bob was as much a part of the legendary Funk Brothers as Jamerson, and he was featured in the excellent Standing In The Shadow Of Motown movie and all of their subsequent concert tours. Sadly, Bob passed away yesterday at age 73, but you can get a feel for this great and humble man from this video, where Bob explains how he got his break into the fairly closed Motown family.

There's an excellent article about Bob's life and the many hits he played on in the Tennessean that's well worth the read.


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't know what to say really, except to acknowledge his great playing! So many lesser known figures that create sounds that touch a soul...


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