Soul And / Or Related Artists
the funk brothers

Stevie And The Funk Brothers

stevie wonder and the funk brothers

Funk Brothers comprised of:

Earl Van Dyke (b. Earl Van Dyke, 8th July 1930, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. d. 18th September 1992, Harper Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.)

Johnny Griffith (b. John Ellis Griffith Jnr., 10th July 1936, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. d. 10th November 2002, U.S.A.)

Pistol Allen (b. Richard 'Pistol' Allen, 12th August 1932, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A. d. 30th June 2002, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan, U.S.A.)

Jamerson & Jones

james jamerson and uriel jones

Uriel Jones (b. Uriel Jones, 13th June 1934, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. d. 24th March 2009, Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center, Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.A.)

Eddie Willis (b. Eddie 'Chank' Willis, 3rd June 1936, Grenada, Mississippi, U.S.A. d. 20th August 2018, Gore Springs, Mississippi, U.S.A.)

Joseph E. Hunter (b. Joseph Edward Hunter, 19th November 1927, Jackson, Tennessee, U.S.A. d. 2nd February 2007, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.)

Bob Babbit (b. Robert Kreinar, 26th November 1937, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. d. 16th July 2012, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.)

Jack Ashford (b. Jack Ashford, 1934, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.)

James Jamerson

james jamerson

James Lee Jamerson Jnr. (b. James Lee Jamerson Jnr., 31st January 1936, Edisto Island, South Carolina, U.S.A. d. 2nd August 1983, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.)

Benny BenjaminEddie Bongo Brown

benny benjamin and eddie bongo brown

William 'Benny' Benjamin (b. William 'Benny' Benjamin a.k.a. Papa Zita, 15th July 1925, Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A. d. 20th April 1969, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.)

Edward James 'Bongo' Brown (b. Edward James 'Bongo' Brown, 13th September 1932, Clarksdale, Mississippi, U.S.A. d. 28th December 1984, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.)

White & Messina

rob white and joe messina

Joe Messina (b. Joe Messina, 13th December 1928, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. d. 4th April 2022, Northville, Michigan, U.S.A.)


Robert Willie White (b. Robert Willie White, 19th November 1936, Near Harrisburg, Pennysylvania, U.S.A. d. 27th October 1994, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.)

Formed in 1959 by Berry Gordy, the Funk Brothers were essential to the Motown Sound of the 1960's

The band played on more Number One hits than the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys and Elvis combined.

Keyboard player for Motown Records, Johnny Griffith, a classically trained musician, died on Sunday 10th November 2002 at age 66.

Bob Babbit passed away, later, in 2012 from brain cancer.

Funk Brothers

top row: Danny Turner, James Jamerson, Freddy Mann

bottom row: Hank Cosby, Robert White, Earl Van Dyke, Uriel Jones

The Funk Brothers were considered the unsung heroes of the Motown label, playing on hundreds of hits such as the Supremes' 'Stop in the Name of Love' and Marvin Gaye's 'I Heard it through the Grapevine.'

Johnny Griffith toured with several major artists including Aretha Franklin, Sarah Vaughn and Dinah Washington.

He was a large contributor to the Motown sound and to the group of musicians who comprised the Funk Brothers.

The band defined the Motown sound of the 1960's, which fused gospel, soul and pop, included Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Four Tops.

The Funk Brothers appeared on a Thursday night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem in 2002, as part of the premiere for the launch of 'Standing in the Shadows of Motown,' a new film that recognizes the achievements of the Funk Brothers.

Robert White

robert white

Johnny Griffith also played on several hit songs as a session musician including Jackie Wilson's '(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher' and the Chi-Lites' 'Have You Seen Her,' among many others.

The rest of the group played backgrounds on the Motown songs:

'Ain't Too Proud To Beg', 'My Guy', 'For Once In My Life', 'Wonderful One', 'I Was Made To Love Her', 'The Way You Do The Things You Do', 'Dancing In The Street', 'Your Precious Love', 'I Can't Help Myself', 'My Cherie Amour', 'You Keep Me Hanging On', 'My Girl', 'Shop Around', 'Going To A Go-Go', 'Get Ready', 'Heatwave', 'How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You', 'Baby Love', 'Cloud Nine', 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough', 'Bernadette', 'Mercy, Mercy Me', 'Signed, Sealed Delivered, I'm Yours', 'Where Did Our Love Go', 'What's Going On', 'Ooh, Baby Baby'

.....the list is endless.

The Funk Brothers

The Funk Brothers

Eddie Willis

eddie willis

Eddie Willis sadly passed away in 2018, from polio related health issues.

Joe Messina passed away in April 2022.

The Funk Brothers

You can check the 'Standing In The Shadows Of Motown' Website, right here

Real Player


Standing In The Shadows Of Motown (Universal Records / Motown Records 2002)

The Millennium Collection (Motown Records 2004)

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