Music Player Network Home Guitar Player Magazine Keyboard Magazine Bass Player Magazine EQ Magazine
Topic Options
#567619 - 03/12/03 02:16 AM The Temptations' bass player (s)?
bassdrummer Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 589
Loc: Visalia, California
I love the Temptations. Who played bass for them? Was it James Jamerson? Who played bass on the classic "My Girl" ? What kind of bass was that? Was it a Fender? Was it a P-bass? Was it a J-bass? Was it the same bass player on "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" ? And who played on "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" ?

I need answers!
_________________________
"All the world's indeed a stage, and we are merely players..."
--Rush, "Limelight"

Top
BP Island
#567620 - 03/12/03 10:43 AM Re: The Temptations' bass player (s)?
alexclaber Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 5200
Loc: Brighton, UK
Quote:
Originally posted by bassdrummer:
I love the Temptations. Who played bass for them? Was it James Jamerson? Who played bass on the classic "My Girl" ? What kind of bass was that? Was it a Fender? Was it a P-bass? Was it a J-bass? Was it the same bass player on "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" ? And who played on "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" ?

I need answers!
Definitely Jamerson on "My Girl" playing a Fender P-bass with old heavy gauge LaBella flats and the bridge mutes still on. Here's a brief list of some of the hits he played on:

My Girl - Temptations
Bernadette - 4 Tops
Aint That Peculiar - Marvin Gaye
Ooh Baby Baby - The Miracles
To Many Fish In The Sea - The Marvelettes
Uptight (Everything Is Alright) - Stevie Wonder
Heat Wave (U) - Martha & The Vandellas
This Old Heart Of Mine - Isley Brothers
I Heard It Through The Grapevine (2 recordings) - Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight & Pips
Where Did Our Love Go (U) - Diana/Supremes
Since I Lost My Baby - Temptations
For Once In My Life - Stevie Wonder
My Guy (U) - Mary Wells
Your Precious Love - Marvin Gaye/Tammy Terrell
You've Really Got A Hold On Me - The Miracles
Love Child - Diana/Supremes
I Guess I'll Always Love you
Dancing In The Streets - Martha & The Vandellas
Don't Mess With Bill - The Marvelettes
What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
Standing In The Shadows Of Love - 4 Tops
Mickey's Monkey (U) - The Miracles
Cloud Nine - Temptations
Nothing's To Good For My Baby - Temptations
My Baby Loves Me - Martha & The Vandellas
You Keep Me Hanging On - Diana/Supremes
You Beat Me To The Punch - Mary Wells
Little Darling (I Need You) - 4 Tops
I'm Ready For Love
The Way You Do The Things You Do - Temptations
I Can't Help Myself - 4 Tops
Roadrunner - Jr. Walker & The All-Stars
You're All I Need To Get By - Temptations
You Can't Hurry Love - Diana/Supremes
Shop Around - The Miracles
Ain't To Proud To Beg - Temptations
My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder
It's The Same Old Song - 4 Tops
How Sweet It Is - Marvin Gaye
Take Me In Your Arms (And Rock Me A Little While) - Brenda Holloway
Ain't No Mountain High Enough (2 recordings) - Marvin Gaye/Tammy Terrell, Diana/Supremes
My Baby Must Be A Magician - The Marvelettes
Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart - Diana/Supremes
Beauty Is Only Skin Deep - Temptations
Ask The Lonely - 4 Tops
Going To A Go-Go - The Miracles
I was Made To Love Her - Stevie Wonder
Hitch Hike - Marvin Gaye
I Second That Emotion - The Miracles
Please Mr. Postman - The Marvelettes
Jimmy Mack (U) - Martha & The Vandellas
I Hear A Symphony - Diana/Supremes
Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over) - 4 Tops
I'm Gonna Make You Love Me - Temptations
Get Ready - Temptations
The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game
Stop! In The Name Of Love - Diana/Supremes
That's What Love Is Made Of
Nowhere To Run - Martha & The Vandellas
Seven Rooms Of Gloom - 4 Tops
Pride & Joy - Marvin Gaye
(I Know) I'm Losing You - Temptations
Two Lovers - Mary Wells
I'll Turn To Stone - 4 Tops
Come See About Me - Diana/Supremes
Stubborn Kind Of Fellow - Marvin Gaye
How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone
If I Were your Woman Gladys Knight & The Pips
My World Is Empty Without You - Diana/Supremes
The Tracks Of My Tears - The Miracles
I'm Wondering - Stevie Wonder
Can I Get A Witness - Marvin Gaye
The Girls Alright With Me - Temptations
Shoo Be Doo Be Doo Da Day - Stevie Wonder
Reflections - Diana/Supremes
What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted - Temptations
Baby I Need Your Loving - 4 Tops
Quicksand... - Martha & The Vandellas
Reach Out...I'll Be There - 4 Tops
You Beat Me To The Punch - Mary Wells
The Bells - The Originals
Shotgun - Jr. Walker & The All-Stars
Fingertips (pt2)- Stevie Wonder
Hey Girl - Stevie Wonder
What Are You Gonna Do When I'm Gone (U) - Kim Weston (submitted by Chuck Whaley)
Still Water Runs Deep - Four Tops (Chuck Whaley)
All in the Game - Four Tops (Chuck Whaley)
My Baby - Temptations
The One Who Really Loves You (U)- Mary Wells
This Old Heart Of Mine - Isley Brothers
My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left) - David Ruffin
It Takes Two (U) - Marvin Gaye/Tammy Terrell
Honey Chile - Martha & the Vandellas
To Busy Thinking About My Baby - Marvin Gaye
When Your Young And In Love - Marvelettes
Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing - Marvin Gaye/Tammy Terrell
Still Waters Run Deep - Four Tops
If I Were Your Woman - Gladys Knight & the Pips
I Want You Back - Jackson 5 (see below)
It's Growing - The Temptations (thanks to Catherine J. Lewis)
Agent Double O Soul - Edwin Starr(thanks to Catherine J. Lewis)
I Can't Get Next To You - Temptations (thanks to John Coe)
I want A Love I can Feel - Temptations (thanks to Anthony Parker)
Heart Breaking Guy - Supremes (thanks to Anthony Parker)

He da man!

Alex

Top
#567621 - 03/12/03 11:47 AM Re: The Temptations' bass player (s)?
BenLoy Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 4072
Loc: San Francisco, CA USA
Yep, that's your answer.

The man's legacy is huge.

Learn it.

Love it.

Lust after old '60s P-Basses.

Top
#567622 - 03/12/03 12:12 PM Re: The Temptations' bass player (s)?
Jode Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 2729
Loc: The Great Northwest
Correction: James Jamerson did NOT play bass on Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On." Although he was credited on the album's liner notes, the actual bassist was Motown's second call player, Bob Babbitt, who is - gasp - a WHITE BOY! He also played on a lot of Stevie Wonder stuff, like "Signed Sealed Delivered." Lots of his playing is mistakenly credited to Jamerson, because sidemen didn't get album credits back in the day. This is not to say that Jamerson isn't perhaps the most important electric bassist in rock history. I don't think anyone but Jaco even comes close in terms of lasting influence. Everyone from McCartney and Entwistle on down cites James Jamerson as an influence.
_________________________
"I had to have something, and it wasn't there. I couldn't go down the street and buy it, so I built it."

Les Paul

Top
#567623 - 03/12/03 12:36 PM Re: The Temptations' bass player (s)?
Scoot Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 834
Loc: Wichita
Quote:
Originally posted by Jode:
Correction: James Jamerson did NOT play bass on Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On." Although he was credited on the album's liner notes, the actual bassist was Motown's second call player, Bob Babbitt, who is - gasp - a WHITE BOY!
I'm declaring shenanigans on this one. But I'll agree w/ you that, yes, Babbitt is white. ;\)
_________________________
Ah, nice marmot.

Top
#567624 - 03/12/03 02:08 PM Re: The Temptations' bass player (s)?
alexclaber Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 5200
Loc: Brighton, UK
Quote:
Originally posted by Jode:
Correction: James Jamerson did NOT play bass on Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On."
Really? I thought Bob just played on "Inner City Blues" - "What's Going On" sure sounds like James...

Alex

Top
#567625 - 03/12/03 04:06 PM Re: The Temptations' bass player (s)?
dcr Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/07/01
Posts: 5315
Alan Slutsky offers "What's Going On" as track #1 in his Jamerson bass lines compilation. On the compilation it is played by James Jamerson Jr., who says on the track that the line is his dad's. I don't know, myself, but I'd say the burden of proof falls on the one who says it wasn't Jamerson.

But oh, do we really want to do this...? :rolleyes:

And what Ben said--Jamerson is the alpha & omega of bass guitar.

Top
#567626 - 03/12/03 04:42 PM Re: The Temptations' bass player (s)?
Dan South Offline
10k Club

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 13114
Loc: Metuchen,NJ,UNITED STATES
You have to love that "brief list." \:D

Studio records are difficult to trace, but the predominant story on "What's Goin' On?" is that the part was written out by the arrangers FOR Jamerson to SOUND LIKE Jamerson. The arrangers had worked with him for years and were able to emulate his style. Word has it that he was flattered, although I'll bet good money that he embellished the part a little bit.

Bob Babbitt discussed the "Who Play On What?" question in a recent issue of Bass Player. He mentioned some of the songs that he played on and didn't get credit for, but "What's Goin' On?" wasn't one of them.
_________________________
The Black Knight always triumphs!

Top
#567627 - 03/13/03 05:48 AM Re: The Temptations' bass player (s)?
StoneKnife Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 327
Loc: Tacoma, WA, UNITED STATES
One Babett did play on for sure has killed me every time I've heard it- Midnight Train To Georgia is Bob, and that's also as good as it gets for me.
James also had an old Jazz with those stacked pots that were on the '50's Fenders... most of his stuff was played with just his index finger. Incredible, no?

BTW, if you haven't seen the movie, "Standing In The Shadows Of Motown", by all means make every effort to see it. They really tell the story... including one time the band kicked Jamerson out of the band car for smoking a cigar and eating pig's feet. \:D
_________________________
"We are the Federales... You know, the Mounted Police..."
---"If you're the police, where are your badges?"
"Bodges?..."

Top
#567628 - 03/13/03 05:19 PM Re: The Temptations' bass player (s)?
dcr Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/07/01
Posts: 5315
You know, I wouldn't mind seeing a Bob Babbitt tribute. Talking about standing in the shadows...he was standing in the shadows of the guy standing in the shadows! But obviously he's the real deal.

Top
#567629 - 03/14/03 01:56 AM Re: The Temptations' bass player (s)?
Jode Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 2729
Loc: The Great Northwest
Eh... Babbitt, Jamerson, who cares? They both sa-MOKED. My original post was based on my admittedly foggy memory of a BP article many years ago entitled, "Who in the world is Bob Babbitt, and where did he get all those gold records?"
_________________________
"I had to have something, and it wasn't there. I couldn't go down the street and buy it, so I built it."

Les Paul

Top
#567630 - 03/14/03 02:56 AM Re: The Temptations' bass player (s)?
bassdrummer Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 589
Loc: Visalia, California
Thanks everyone!

James Jamerson -- my new hero.

"I've got sunshine . . . on a cloudy day . . ."

YEAH!
_________________________
"All the world's indeed a stage, and we are merely players..."
--Rush, "Limelight"

Top
#567631 - 04/24/03 06:04 AM Re: The Temptations' bass player (s)?
Jotown Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/04/02
Posts: 4413
Loc: The Galactic Center (°26 Sagit...
Babbitt is definitely a great bassist, but it was Jamerson on “Whats Goin' On” , lying flat on his back drunk as hell. He couldn't even stand up.

I got that from the bonus material on the Standing in the shadows of Motown DVD.
_________________________
Jotown:)

"It's all good: Except when it's Great"

Top
#567632 - 04/24/03 12:49 PM Re: The Temptations' bass player (s)?
Jode Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 2729
Loc: The Great Northwest
One story I do remember from the Babbitt interview was of Jamerson coming to the studio with a buzz on and a pistol in his waistband, saying, "I'm playing tonight." Babbitt would just smile and take a step back and say, "Okay, James." Then sometimes James would pass out or get distracted by something else and Babbitt would sometimes end up on the track anyway.
_________________________
"I had to have something, and it wasn't there. I couldn't go down the street and buy it, so I built it."

Les Paul

Top
#567633 - 04/25/03 04:38 AM Re: The Temptations' bass player (s)?
Jotown Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/04/02
Posts: 4413
Loc: The Galactic Center (°26 Sagit...
I have heard that story also, but the story I posted above was told by the Funk Brothers who were on that particular session, so I would consider it gospel.

I have much respect for Bob Babbit, but he would never in a million years get picked over James Jamerson at a Funk Brothers session, unless Jamerson was unconcious.

Bob Babbit could never fill the J mans shoes. He was simply the greatest pop R&B bassist ever. He defined a style, and created a vocabulary that is still in great use today.

There was only one James Jamerson, and the blessing is that he recorded so much music in his short life. We are all the richer for it.
_________________________
Jotown:)

"It's all good: Except when it's Great"

Top
#567634 - 04/25/03 01:41 PM Re: The Temptations' bass player (s)?
tnb Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/08/01
Posts: 2874
Loc: Indianapolis, In, UNITED STATE...
Originally posted by Jotown:
Quote:
Babbitt is definitely a great bassist, but it was Jamerson on “Whats Goin’ On” , lying flat on his back drunk as hell. He couldn’t even stand up.
I heard that same story from one of the Motown session drummers that moved to Atlanta in the '80s.

Top
#567635 - 04/27/03 07:55 PM Re: The Temptations' bass player (s)?
Chad Thorne Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/15/01
Posts: 6234
Loc: Pittston, Maine, USA
I've got both the book and, a few days ago, the video of "Standing In The Shadows Of Motown". This has been discussed extensively here - do a search - but I dig the hell out of it.

I've been using the transcriptions in the book for sight-reading practice. Late last night I finished up with "Don't Mess With Bill"; went to bed with that song in my head, woke up this a.m. it was still there. Not such a bad way to go.

JAMERSON RULES!!!!!!
_________________________


Top