Bob Babbitt

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Bob Babbitt
Bob-Babbitt-008.jpg
Bob Babbitt in 2004
Background information
Birth nameRobert 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
Occupation(s)Musician
InstrumentsBass
Years active1961–2012
LabelsMotown
Associated actsThe Funk Brothers, Cindy Bullens

Bob Babbitt (born Robert Kreinar; November 26, 1937 – July 16, 2012) 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; while 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. Also “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, "I Got a Name" by Jim Croce, 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' 1978 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]

In 2008 Bob, along with Uriel Jones, Ray Monette, Dennis Coffey, and Robert Jones accompanied other notable Detroit session musicians, including Larry Fratangelo, Dennis Sheridan, Edward Gooch, John Trudell, saxophonist George Benson, Mark Burger, David Jennings, Spider Webb, George Katsakis, Gil Bridges and Rob Pipho, on the Carl Dixon Bandtraxs project, which featured a Dennis Coffey - Carl Dixon production of four new songs. Vocal performances by Spyder Turner, Cherokee Pree and Gayle Butts provided lead and backing for the session. The session was arranged by ex-Motown arranger David J. Van De Pitte. The session was also at Studio A, Dearborn Heights, Detroit, and was the dream of a 19-year-old Dixon, back in 1974, to pay homage to musicians, particularly The Funk Brothers, producers and those who influenced him with their music. It took Dixon almost 33 years to find the musicians and meet via the web site soulfuldetroit.com. It was via this web site that he and Dennis Coffey hooked up and then eventually collaborated to make the session work. On Dennis Coffey’s suggestion there were two drummers on this session, Uriel Jones and Spider Webb, who shared responsibility for the groove throughout the recordings, along with Bob’s pounding bass contributions. Robert Jones played on the studios’ over 100 year old Steinway grand piano. There is footage of Bob in the studio on this session via YouTube. Bob flew in from his home town to attend this session being a co member of soulfuldetroit.com along with Carl Dixon and Dennis Coffey.

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

Discography[edit]

with Tom Rush

with Herbie Mann

With Jimmy McGriff

With Lonnie Smith

With Stanley Turrentine

With Rodriguez

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Scorpion (album, band)". BadCat Records, Reston, VA, USA. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  2. ^ "The 100 Greatest Bass Players of All Time". bassplayer.com. 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. ^ "Bob Babbitt, Motown Bassist With Funk Brothers, Dies at 74". The New York Times. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2017.

Sources[edit]

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