Monday, July 16, 2012

Bob Babbitt, RIP

Funk Brothers' bass player Bob Babbitt passed away today. He was 74.
From left,  Funk Brothers Uriel Jones, Bob Babbitt, and Pistol Allen.
Chaka Kahn is performing "What's Going On?" in
Standing in the Shadows of Motown
Remember the great Motown hits of the '60s? Tears of a Clown, Signed, Sealed and Delivered I'm Yours, and What's Going On? Bob Babbitt was the bass player on those and many others. You see, none of the Motown artists played their own instruments.

The Funk Brothers were Motown's in-house band. A group of 13 musicians, black and white, played together on more than 20,000 songs in "Motown Studio A" -- Barry Gordy, Jr.'s garage. They were the greatest hit machine in the history of music.

No one had ever heard of them until the 2002 documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown. It is a movie I highly, highly recommend. Here is a clip below of Chaka Kahn's Grammy-winning performance of What's Going On with Bob playing the bass as he did on the original Marvin Gaye version:


February I got one of the thrills of my life when I toured "Hitsville, USA" where all of these great songs were recorded. If you would like to read my posting about Hitsville, the Funk Brothers, and Motown, please click here.


Now, let's listen to Bob play bass on Heatwave performed by Joan Osborne, also from the movie:


Bob, thanks so very much for all of the great music. Rest in peace.  

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