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July 17, 2012 / jhsaeger

Bob Babbitt (1937-2012)

   There are dozens of musicians who have made a living playing on other musician’s records without becoming a household name even if the albums they played on are. In the case of Bob Babbitt, he just happened to play on some of the most famous pop records of all-time.
    Babbitt, who passed away today at the age of 74 after succumbing to brain cancer made his living making the world dance as bass player for Motown and Philadelphia International Records. As a session bassist for Motown, Babbitt brought the thump and rhythm with the Funk Brothers alongside James Jamerson to create some of the best pop music ever. Babbitt later played with Philadelphia International Records’ famous house band MFSB. While with these two labels he cut the bass line for tracks such as, Stevie Wonders’ “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours,” Gladys Knight’s “Midnight Train to Georgia,” Smokey Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown,” and Marvin Gaye’s album, What’s Going On. Babbitt also recorded with Jim Croce, Phil Collins, Del Shannon, and The Spinners.
    Coupled with the recent passing of Donald “Duck” Dunn, the legendary Stax bassist, the world seems a little funky today. 


Babbitt on one of his best-known tracks: Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours”

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