News & Updates — Motown
Rick James / Feb 1, 1948 - Aug 6, 2004
One of the funkiest was Rick James, the wild funk-rock genius of "Super Freak". Buffalo-born, he escaped to Canada as a draft-dodger and played in the Mynah Birds with Neil Young and Bruce Palmer until he was busted and thrown in the clink. He played on the amazing psych record by Bruce Palmer (The Cycle Is Complete) as Rick Matthews, before transforming into the larger-than-life funk god. And the rest is dirty history. From 1981's Street Songs:
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...