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Posts Tagged ‘The Funk Brothers’

Died On This Date (July 16, 2012) Bob Babbitt / Legendary Motown Funk Brothers Bassist

Posted by themusicsover on July 16, 2012

Bob Babbitt
DOB Unknown – July 16, 2012

Bob Babbitt was a Pittsburgh-born journeyman bassist who can rightfully claim to have played on more than 25 gold and platinum albums along with over 200 top 10 hits.  As part of the legendary Motown house band known as the Funk Brothers from 1966 to 1972, Babbitt can be heard playing on such timeless classics as Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” the Temptations‘ “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me),” Edwin Starr’s “War,” and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles‘ “The Tears Of A Clown” to name just a few. Prior to his stint at Motown, Babbitt played on several Del Shannon records, including “Little Town Flirt” and “I Go To Pieces.”  Following his run at Motown, Babbitt continued his hit-record contributions as part of Philadelphia International Records’ answer to the Funk Brothers, MFSB. Within that capacity, for instance, he played on several hits by the Spinners.  Babbitt also recorded or performed live with such superstars as Jimi Hendrix, Phil Collins, Jim Croce, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Barry Manilow, and Bonnie Raitt.  During the ’80s, he played on several prominent commercial jingles and even dabbled in jazz with Herbie Mann and Stanley Turrentine. In 2002, he was profiled in the award-winning Funk Brothers documentary, Standing In The Shadows Of Motown.  In March of 2011, Babbitt made his last television appearance with Jacob Lusk during American Idol’s Motown Week.  Bob Babbitt died of brain cancer on July 16, 2012.  He was 74.

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Died On This Date (July 13, 2013) Maurice D. Davis / Motown’s Funk Brothers

Posted by themusicsover on July 13, 2012

Maurice D. Davis
June 9, 1941 – July 13, 2012

Maurice D. Davis was a respected trumpet player who, over the course of his long career, graced over 1500 recordings.  After graduating from Tennessee State University and teaching for two years at Rust College, Davis found himself in Detroit, Michigan.  The year was 1965, and Davis soon found himself playing in the legendary Motown session band, the Funk Brothers.  During his term that lasted until 1980, Davis played on recordings by or toured with the likes of the Supremes, the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, and the Temptations on whose “Papa Was A Rolling Stone,” he particularly shined.  Beyond Motown, Davis played with Tony Bennett, Whitney Houston, Sammy Davis Jr., Dizzy Gillespie, and many more.  Through all this, Davis still found time to continue his teaching.  In 1997, he retired from the Detroit Public Schools after 32 years.  He also taught at Wayne State University from 1980 to 1995.  An ordained minister as well, Davis founded the Trumpeting High Praises Community Resources Center in Detroit in 1998.  In 2002, he was featured in the critically acclaimed documentary about the Funk Brothers, Standing In The Shadows of Motown.  Maurice D. Davis was 71 when he passed away on July 13, 2012.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

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