Bob Babbitt

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Bob Babbitt
Bob Babbitt in 2004
Bob Babbitt in 2004
Background information
Birth nameRobert Andrew Kreinar
Born(1937-11-26)November 26, 1937
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedJuly 16, 2012(2012-07-16) (aged 74)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
GenresR&B, pop, funk
Years active1961–2012
LabelsMotown, Philadelphia International Records

Robert Andrew Kreinar (November 26, 1937 – July 16, 2012), known as Bob Babbitt, was a Hungarian-American bassist, most famous for his work as a member of Motown Records' studio band, the Funk Brothers, from 1966 to 1972, as well as his tenure as part of MFSB for Philadelphia International Records afterwards. Also in 1968, with Mike Campbell, Ray Monette and Andrew Smith he formed the band Scorpion, which lasted until 1970.[1] He is ranked number 59 on Bass Player magazine's list of "The 100 Greatest Bass Players of All Time".[2]

Babbitt traded off sessions with original Motown bassist James Jamerson. When Motown moved to Los Angeles, Babbit went in the opposite direction and ended up in New York as well as making occasional trips to Philadelphia.[3] In this new city he worked on recordings for Frank Sinatra, Barry Manilow, Gloria Gaynor, Robert Palmer, and Alice Cooper. During this time his most notable successes were "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight & the Pips and "The Rubberband Man" by The Spinners.[4]

The Pittsburgh-born Babbitt's most notable bass performances include "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" by Stevie Wonder; "War" by Edwin Starr; "The Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles; "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" and "Inner City Blues" by Marvin Gaye; "Band Of Gold" by Freda Payne; "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)" and "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)" by The Temptations; "Touch Me in the Morning" by Diana Ross; and “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely” by The Main Ingredient.

He participated in hundreds of other hits, including "Little Town Flirt" by Del Shannon and "Scorpio" by Dennis Coffey & the Detroit Guitar Band. He played on the Jimi Hendrix album Crash Landing. He also played bass on Cindy Bullens' 1979 album Desire Wire. He accepted an offer from Phil Collins to perform on his album of Motown and 1960s soul classics, Going Back, and also appeared in Collins' Going Back - Live At Roseland Ballroom, NYC concert DVD. He appeared on stage in an episode of American Idol, backing up Jacob Lusk's performance of "You're All I Need To Get By" for AI's Motown Week in March 2011.[citation needed]

In 2003, Babbitt played on Marion James' album, Essence, on Soulfood Records, and amongst others playing on the record were Beegie Adair, Reese Wynans, Jack Pearson (The Allman Brothers), and drummer Chucki Burke.[5]

He was added to the Music City Walk of Fame on June 5, 2012.[1]

Bob Babbitt died on July 16, 2012, aged 74, from brain cancer.[6][7][8]


with Tom Rush

with Herbie Mann

  • Surprises (Atlantic, 1976)
  • with Alice Cooper
  • Go To Hell ( song only ) 1976

With Jimmy McGriff

With Lonnie Smith

With Stanley Turrentine

With Rodriguez


  1. ^ "Scorpion (album, band)". BadCat Records, Reston, VA, USA. Archived from the original on September 29, 2018. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  2. ^ "The 100 Greatest Bass Players of All Time". NewBay Media.
  3. ^ Jisi, Chris. "Bob Babbitt: 1937-2012." Bass Player October 2012: 16. General OneFile. Web. 16 April 2014.
  4. ^ Jisi, Chris. "Phil Chen & Bob Glaub pay tribute to Bob Babbitt & Duck Dunn." Bass Player April 2013: 18+. General OneFile. Web. 16 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Marion James". Music City Roots. Archived from the original on 2016-03-16. Retrieved 2016-01-02.
  6. ^ Laing, Dave (2012-07-18). "Bob Babbitt obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  7. ^ "Bob Babbitt - Obituary". Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  8. ^ "Bob Babbitt, Motown Bassist With Funk Brothers, Dies at 74". The New York Times. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2017.


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