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Funk Brothers

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The Funk Brothers was the nickname given to a group of Detroit, Michigan, session musicians who performed on the backing tracks to most Motown Records recordings from 1959 until 1972, when the company moved to Los Angeles. The Funk Brothers played on many major Motown hits such as “My Girl”, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”, “Baby Love”, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours”, “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”, “The Tears of a Clown”, and “(Love is Like a) Heat Wave”.

The role of the Funk Brothers is described in Paul Justman’s 2002 documentary film Standing in the Shadows of Motown, based on Allan Slutsky’s book of the same name. The opening titles of the film proclaim the Funk Brothers as “having played on more number-one records than The Beatles, Elvis, The Rolling Stones, and The Beach Boys combined.”

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  • jamath911

    More #1 hits then the Beatles...Look up Funk Brothers on Wikipedia!

    22 Apr 2012 Reply
  • psk27

    Seen a documentary last week about the Funk Bros. These are the real stars of Motown. James Jamerson - nuff said.

    27 Feb 2009 Reply
  • fazlette

    Hello - I just want to tell people about a Culture Show special on 50 years of Motown on 6th Jan. I work on the team, and thought it would be great to get a bit of interest in it/a buzz around it. The show features Martin Freeman (a huge fan) going to Detroit to meet the Funk Brothers among others. It's on Tues 6th Jan at 10pm on BBC Two - there's also a preview on the website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cultureshow/videos/2009/01/s5_e19_motown_preview/ Hope you like it! F

    23 Dec 2008 Reply

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