The BEST Band In America! Jul 15, 2004 16:34:40 GMT -5
Post by Motorcity on Jul 15, 2004 16:34:40 GMT -5
Although they received no recognition or credit for their contributions at the time, they are still considered the best band in America.
They were Motown studio musicians with roots in jazz. The "Hardcore Four" that provided the core of the band are:
- James Jamerson, bassist, known as "Igor" and both eccentric and a genius
- William "Benny" Benjamin, drummer, rumored to be at Motown from the onset, was known for speed and accuracy, knicknamed by "Little" Stevie Wonder, Papa Zita
- Robert White, guitarist
- Earl Van Dyke, keyboardist
Joe Hunter was the original band leader and piano player of the Motown house band. The early Motown sound was steeped in jazz, blues and R&B courtesy of the earthy play of Joe. By the time Hunter departed the label in 1964, he had recruited the core players of the greatest studio band in music.
Jamerson is credited with coming up with the actual name "Funk Brothers", due to producers requesting "the funk"!
Jamerson is credited as the first to electrically amplify a bass. It took 2 drummers to replace Benjamin, when he was ill and when he passed away, Uriel Jones and Richard "Pistol" Allen.
In the Snakepit aka Studio A, there was no need for sheet music. These cats were churning out about 4 songs every 3 hours, roughly 4 hits per day! Definitely can be described as MVPs, Motown's Valuable Players!
There would be more MVP's added to the roster:
- Dan Turner, Saxophone
- Uriel Jones, Drummer
- Eddie Willis, Guitarist
- Joe Messina, Guitarist
- James Gittens, Keyboardist
- Jack Ashford, Percussionist, Vibes, Tambourine, Slapped Sticks, Foot Stomps
- Johnny Griffith, Keyboardist
- Richard "Pistol" Allen, Drummer
- Jack "White Jack" Brokenshaw, Percussionist
- Eddie "Bongo" Brown, third percussion and congos and bongos
- Dennis Coffey, Guitarist
- Melvin "Wah-Wah Watson" Raglin, Guitarist
- Bob Babbitt, Bassist
All great musicians that defined a sound.
Van Dyke describe their magic best:
"No one played the same chord in the same d*mn position!"
The Funk Brothers truly the backbone of the Classic Motown Sound