We lost another great today. Bob Babbitt was one of the main bass players for the group of Detroit studio musicians dubbed the Funk Brothers. Not quite as famous or as influential as the legendary James Jamerson, he came to Motown a little later than James and outlasted him well into the 70s and 80s. I tend to think of Bob as a little new-school funkier than Jamerson, with a little sharper tone.
Bob's post-Motown work included "Mind Body and Soul" by the Embers, "Somebody's Been Sleeping in My Bed" by the 8th Day, "Give Me Just a Little More Time" by the Chairmen of the Board (all three produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland after they left Motown), "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight and the Pips, "Just Don't Want to Be Lonely" by Main Ingredient, "Scorpio" by Dennis Coffey, "Dynomite" by Bazooka, and Barry Manilow's "Copacabana." He also did a lot of work for Philadelphia International Records, including "Games People Play," "Then Came You," and "Rubber Band Man," all by the Spinners.
You can find a more complete discography here. It doesn't take a lot of listening to know that Bob was a terrific talent, one of a select group of studio musicians who made the bulk of the music that we listened to in the 1960s and 1970s. I have a deep respect for those cats who went to "work" in the studios day in and day out and created such memorable sounds. Whether it was the Funk Brothers in Detroit, the Wrecking Crew in Los Angeles, the Stax cats in Memphis, or the pros in New York and London, they defined rock and pop music for a generation. It's amazing what Bob and his colleagues did, truly amazing, and any serious student of popular music should be appreciative.
RIP, Bob Babbitt -- you will be missed.