Legendary Motown Bassist Bob Babbitt Dead At 74: The man who contributed the low end to such classic songs as “The Tears Of A Clown”, “Band Of Gold” and “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” passed away this morning at the age of 74 after a long battle with brain cancer. Bob Babbitt (born Robert Kreiner), a member of Motown’s original Funk Brothers, played on more than 200 Billboard Top 40 hits in his recording career for Motown and other labels. Along with James Jamerson, the two bassists were perhaps the single most recognizable component of what came to be known as “The Motown Sound”.
I had the good fortune of interviewing the legendary bassist in early 2010 during my tenure as a writer for Bass Guitar Magazine. At the end of our interview I asked Bob to name the five songs he’d most want to be remembered for. “Definitely ‘Scorpio’ with the bass solo,” he quickly responded. ” ‘Cool Jerk’ by the Capitols, ‘War’ by Edwin Starr– something about that song always stuck with me. Robert Palmer’s ‘Every Kind Of People’ was a special song I think. ‘Touch Me In The Morning’ by Diana Ross. There were so many records, it’s hard to say what your favorites are.”
Bob graciously reprinted my interview with him on his website at www.bobbabbit.com; to read the complete text of our interview, click here: Bob Babbitt: Carrying The Jamerson Torch. Bob is survived by his wife Ann, a son and two daughters.