Bob Babbitt, Funk Brothers bassist at Motown, dies at 74

R.I.P Bob Babbitt

Bob Babbitt, a bassist for Motown Records and key accompanist to some of the recording studio’s biggest stars, including Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and the Temptations, died July 16at a hospice near his home in Nashville. He was 74.

Bob Babbitt (born Robert Kreinar; November 26, 1937 - July 16, 2012), was an American bassist, most famous for his work as a member of Motown Records' studio band, the Funk Brothers, from 1966 -1972, as well as his tenure as part of MFSB for Philadelphia International Records afterwards. Also in 1968-1970, with Mike Campbell, Ray Monette and Andrew Smith he formed the band Scorpion. Babbitt traded off sessions with original Motown bassist James Jamerson.


The Pittsburgh-born Babbitt's most notable bass performances include "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" (by Stevie Wonder), "War" (by Edwin Starr), "The Tears of a Clown" (by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles), "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" and "Inner City Blues" (by Marvin Gaye), "Band Of Gold" (by Freda Payne), "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)", and Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) (by The Temptations).
He participated in hundreds of other hits, including "Little Town Flirt" by Del Shannon, "I Got a Name" by Jim Croce, "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight & the Pips, "Scorpio" by Dennis Coffey & the Detroit Guitar Band, and "(The) Rubberband Man" by The Spinners. He played on the Jimi Hendrix album Crash Landing. He accepted an offer from Phil Collins to perform on his album of Motown and 1960s soul classics Going Back and also appears in Phil's Going Back live concert DVD. He appeared onstage in an episode of American Idol, backing up Jacob Lusk's performance of "You're All I Need To Get By" for AI's Motown Week in March 2011.

Bob Babbitt's official website


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