Lets Talk “Motown”! Who Has The Bug?

Not sure why, but here lately I’ve been drawn toward some of my old “Motown” music that I use to listen to back in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. Maybe it’s because I (again) watched the “Temptations” movie last night with my wife Connie and we both went back in time again… well, at least our ‘minds and memory’ did (not so much our retired physique’s)…

So, does anyone other than myself have “Favorite” Motown tunes that they would love to play bass to?? I’m thinking of starting off with “My Girl” by the Temptations so that I can have it all recorded on cover to play for Connie on our 44th Valentines Day together this February…

I know there’s gonna be more Motown tunes that I’ll want to make covers for and add to my website, but how about the rest of you?? I’m sure there’s gotta be some James Jamerson fans out here!!

Keep on Thumpin’!!

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I’ve actually been working on a Motown piece, which I plan to post on the “Post your covers” thread. Not sure when I’ll be ready, but I promise it will be sometime this decade.

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I have a strange relashionship with Motown. it’s not at all the kind of music I listen to, but for some reason I find all this Motown universe very interesting. my feeling is that it’s a big part of modern music history, with a lot of more or less subtle things (especially about the bass lines and playing !) that make current music. I see all this Motown era as the begining of a more melodic age for bass players, like if we were at least allowed to behave like real musicians :joy:

I’m happy to see you plan to play some Motown covers and I’m waiting to ear them ! Also it would be a great way to discover some good Motown tunes, I guess, and that’s again a good point.

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I Heard It Through The Grapevine
Also, if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend the documentary Standing In The Shadows Of Motown. It is excellent. And just over $6 US for the DVD on Amazon.

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Yeah I’m kind of the same way. It’s not a style I really listen to or play but I find the era really musically interesting. Also the stories of the artists seem really compelling to me - and I know little about them.

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You’d better hurry then, @PamPurrs - I think the decade ends in about four days :grin:

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Is this classed as Motown?

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I love many different bass players and styles of music and playing, but James Jamerson and the Motown sound is at the top of my list. That’s because I find, as a fledging bass player, Jamerson embodies everything I aspire to - simple, melodic, memorable bass lines, played in service and in context of the overall music. As for songs, I have a long list, but will name only a few. Shotgun, Reach Out I’ll Be There, My Girl, For Once In My Life, (I Know) I’m Losing You, What’s Going On, The Tracks of My Tears. As a fan of Motown, I suggest you also check out Stax-Volt tunes too and the work of Donald “Duck” Dunn with the Mar-keys and Booker T and The MG’s. I especially love his bass work on The Staple Singers, “I’ll Take You There.”

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@PeteP - A great question - and one that could spark a bit of discussion depending on whether or not we’re referring to “Motown” as the Berry Gordy” era or Motown as the later “Mo-West” (and numerous others) label out of LA…

Being a “Purist” of sorts, I look at “Motown” as the Berry Gordy era that was instrumental in using music as a tool to help bridge the racial gap between blacks and whites here in the USA back in the ‘60’s… during the Viet-Nam war era.

Although Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons did record a few songs under LA’s Mo-West label in the ‘70’s… (personally), I don’t consider them to be pure Motown artists… Just my opinion…

Keep on Thumpin’!!

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I may have to put it off until next decade…

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Thanks @rolltide1966!! Gonna have to check that one out…

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“Slick as butter” response @PamPurrs​:wink:. That said, we just might have to start referring to you as “Butter,… the Bad Ass Bass Gal”:joy::rofl::wink:

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There’s a book with the same title that focuses on James Jamerson. The documentary is more about the whole group. Lots of great music and great stories. It’s really sad that it’s taken this long for then to get the recognition they deserve.

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@terb - Now that I’m healed up pretty well from surgery and can actually once again hang my bass off my shoulder, I plan to get back to some recordings this weekend. Still have several older covers that I need to re-record on video to load onto my website before moving on to the Motown covers. Should be able to start my first “My Girl” shortly after the New Year…

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Welcome aboard, @gipsj . . . :slight_smile:

Those are some of my favorite Motown tracks as well :slight_smile: When you get the chance, stop by the “Introduce Yourself” thread and tell us a little about yourself:

https://forum.bassbuzz.com/t/introduce-yourself

All best, Joe

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Agreed, @Lanny . . . :slight_smile: There were SO many great Motown tunes they used to play at HS dances etc.

Glad to hear that as well, my friend . . . :+1:

Hope the old ticker “keeps on thumpin”, too! . . . lol :wink:

Cheers, Joe

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Yes, @Lanny, I meant to say something along those lines. Hope all is as it should be.

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@Jazzbass19 - Hahaha - Yea, me too Joe!! Gotta say that it does feel a little “odd” at times but I guess it’s just something a person learns to get use to after awhile… As a matter of fact, today was the first day in two weeks that I was able to strap on the Ibanez 500E and play standing up! That was another reason I bought that particular bass just before my surgery - the weight… I tried hanging the Yamaha 304 off my shoulder and could instantly tell the weight difference. Gonna need a bit more time for the incision to heal before I go hanging any more weight on it though… In the meantime, “Ol Thumper” (that’s what I named it) is doing a pretty good job at keeping the beat!!

@PeteP - So far so good!! Actually got to wash my own hair today! I’m sure my wife is happy since she no longer has to put up with my sarcastic humor and colorful puns when she was washing it for me!!:grinning:

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I’ve had my share of invalid time and relying on others for even minor activities, so I get what a big deal that can actually me. I’m impressed that you’re back on the bass before you’ve got your personal grooming skills back. Truly badass.

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Yes me too :slight_smile:

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