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Bob Babbitt in 2004
|Birth name||Robert Kreinar (Hungarian)|
November 26, 1937|
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||July 16, 2012
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Associated acts||The Funk Brothers|
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 1966–1972, as well as his tenure as part of MFSB for Philadelphia International Records afterwards. Also in 1968–1970, with Mike Campbell, Ray Monette and Andrew Smith he formed the band Scorpion. 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. 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.
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.
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 accepted an offer from Phil Collins to perform on his album of Motown and 1960s soul classics, Going Back, and also appeared in Collin's 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.
Bob Babbitt died on July 16, 2012, aged 74, from brain cancer. He was survived by his wife, three children, and two grandchildren.
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with Herbie Mann
- Surprises (Atlantic, 1976)
With Stanley Turrentine
- The Man with the Sad Face (Fantasy, 1976)
- "Scorpion (album, band)". BadCat Records, Reston, VA, USA. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
- Jisi, Chris. "Bob Babbitt: 1937-2012." Bass Player October 2012: 16. General OneFile. Web. 16 April 2014.
- Jisi, Chris. "Phil Chen & Bob Glaub pay tribute to Bob Babbitt & Duck Dunn." Bass Player April 2013: 18+. General OneFile. Web. 16 April 2014.
- [dead link]
- General: Justman, Paul (2002). Standing in the Shadows of Motown (Motion picture). New York: Artisan Entertainment.