Jack Ashford

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Jack Ashford
Ashford at a ceremony in March 2013 to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for the Funk Brothers
Background information
Born (1934-05-18) May 18, 1934 (age 84)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Instruments Percussion, tambourine
Labels Motown
Associated acts The Funk Brothers

Jack Ashford (born May 18, 1934), known to his friends as Jashford, is an American musician widely known as the percussionist for Motown Records' in-house Funk Brothers band during the 1960s and early 1970s. Ashford is most famous for playing the tambourine on hundreds of Motown recordings. His definitive performance is on "War" by Edwin Starr; other notable songs Ashford played tambourine on include "Nowhere to Run" by Martha & the Vandellas, "You Can't Hurry Love" by The Supremes, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye, and "Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston. He also played vibes, shakers, and the marimba on the label's recordings, such as The Miracles' "Ooh Baby Baby". The early 1980s saw production work from Ashford but it proved to be the end of his career in music. However, in 2014, he made a recent appearance on The Secret Sisters' second album Put Your Needle Down.[1]

He is not known to be related to famed singer-songwriter Nick Ashford, who also worked for Motown Records.

Instruments he is known to have played are the tambourine, vibraphone, marimba, maracas, cabasa, bells, chimes, bell tree, finger cymbals, kazoo, triangle, wood block, handclaps, foot stomps and hotel sheet.[2]

He is the second to last surviving member of the Funk Brothers after the death of Eddie Willis.

Session work[edit]


  1. ^ "A quick hello from Laura, and an album update!". secretsistersblog.com. The Secret Sisters Blog. Retrieved 2015-02-09. 
  2. ^ http://www.standingintheshadowsofmotown.com/funksbio.htm
  3. ^ ABC LP, ABCX-889
  4. ^ ABC LP, 9022-1038
  • Ashford, Jack (2003). Motown: The View From The Bottom. Bank House Books. ISBN 1-904408-03-6

External links[edit]