James Jamerson / Jan 29, 1936 - Aug 2, 1983

James Jamerson was a key player in the Motown sound and their Funk Brothers backing band, playing bass on nearly every record from 1959 into the 70s. Like the other Funk Brothers, he was never credited on the sessions (until 1971) and was severely underpaid for a lot of his time at the company. His playing contributed melodic advancements, as a jazz player would. Perhaps you could say he was more of a jazz bassist than a pop one. A Gullah from the Georgia Sea Islands, he appeared on more #1 records than anyone (and most of them are great records!!). He has been named as a major influence by many, including John Entwistle, Geddy Lee, Bootsy, Flea, McCartney, Jack Bruce, Jaco Pastorius, etc.

Here are a few of his Motown hits:

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