Yesterday March 21, 2013 Detroit’s own got their due by Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Our treasures, musicians, sound, style, epitome of the definition of Instrumentation.
Surviving members Eddy Willis & Jack Ashford attending this honor. Joe Messina who has been said to be sick viewed the ceremony via a live stream from his Detroit suburban home. To me this should have been done long ago and about time!
Because what you heard on every single one of the Motown Hits you was the music behind the vocals and they were simply called The Funk Brothers. But what a sound they created. No one on this earth could ever duplicate them if they tried.
The were not only Detroit’s legends they were the worlds. They were musics magicians. Extraordinary talents each and every single one of them. And if I repeat myself more than one time on this blog so be it. It cannot be said enough times
This blog will honestly reiterate one I did honoring them on Jan. 2, 2012. Only I switched up what video auto-played. You will be hearing almost 4 hours of ex-tended Motown that features the artists and the music. (sadly already removed by YT)
13 Names….13 of the most outstanding individuals who ever created the most recognizable sound around this whole world totally together.
The Motown Sound and Epitome of Class.
Earl Van Dyke
William “Benny” Benjamin
Richard “Pistol” Allen
The Best Bassist In The World “James Jamerson”
Eddie “Bongo” Brown
On this video above where Jack Ashford spoke only told a tiny portion of the story. You will note you didn’t see Berry Gordy anywhere to be found for the unveiling of this Star, because as Ashford stated when Motown left they were left without a home and he was right. Gordy put a sign on the window of the very studio A that created all those hits we grew up to, sang to, danced to on the streets of the Detroit neighborhoods where we lived and it said closed & moved.
All colors, nationality’s, religions, young, old for Motown made us One. It wasn’t just a sound, it was pure magic.
But Gordy split and left these session players, the essence of the Motown Sound behind. I’ve said this a thousand times and I will undoubtedly say it another million. When I watched Standing In The Shawdows Of Motown and found out that one of the best if not THE BEST Bass players ever to play in music James Jamerson had to buy a scalped ticket to the 25th anniversary show out in L.A. not here in Detroit and sit in the balcony of that show as if he was a nobody I cried.
Every single Funk Brother should have been up on that stage that night. Bad enough that anniversary totally ignored the city that put Motown on the map, but it also left out all of the musicians themselves. It was inexcusable, heartless, selfish and as cold as death itself.
The music hadn’t died but for so many, the artists themselves and us the fans were robbed of any decent dignity. And it will always be unforgivable. Eddie Willis tears Thursday both represented tears of joy and tears of sadness and as Detroiter’s will always know why.
But make no mistake it was a happy day for our Funk Brothers. We already knew back in the early 60s they were stars. Our stars and now and forever there will always be a spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that will depict it for all of the world who visits it to see.
For the surviving members and to those that left us and are up in Heaven. Congratulations. It was long overdue.
For as long as we hear a Motown song, we will hear your heart and talent. The Funk Brothers Forever.
Earl Van Dyke (piano, keyboard, bandleader)
James Jamerson (bass)
Bob Babbitt (bass)
Richard “Pistol” Allen (drums)
Jack Ashford (percussion)
William “Benny” Benjamin (drums)
Eddie “Bongo” Brown (percussion)
Johnny Griffith (piano, keyboard)
Joe Hunter (piano, bandleader)
Uriel Jones (drums)
Joe Messina (guitar)
Robert White (guitar)
Eddie Willis (guitar)
Also attending the ceremony were many family members of Funk Brothers who have passed on, including bassist James Jamerson’s son, James Jamerson Jr., and widow Annie Jamerson; Joe Hunter Jr., son of Motown’s first bandleader, Joe Hunter; and June Jones, widow of drummer Uriel Jones.
This one is for ALL of The Funk Brothers. We Love You!