As we seem to be saying a lot this year, there are no words to describe the loss the bass (and musical) community sustained today. Bob Babbitt, one of the two legendary bass players for the Motown band, The Funk Brothers, passed away yesterday. He had been suffering from complications with brain cancer for a number of months.
Bob Babbitt was born in Pittsburgh, and later moved to Detroit. After beginning his bass career in the late Fifties, he joined Stevie Wonder’s touring band in 1966. Just about a year later, Babbitt was asked to join The Funk Brothers after James Jamerson broke his hand.
There are TOO many recordings that Bob Babbitt was a part of, but some of our Motown favorites are Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and “We Can Work It Out”, and numerous cuts on Marvin Gaye’s seminal album “What’s Going On”, Edwin Starr’s “War”, and “Ball Of Confusion” by The Temptations.
Bob was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award by NARAS in 2004.
For posterity’s sake, we’ll include the first part of our 2010 video interview with Bob: