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The Funk Brothers and Motown Jazz

When we think about the great Motown records of the ’60s, we usually think of the singers. But it wasn’t the Temptations who created the stair-climbing guitar intro to “My Girl.” It was Robert White. It wasn’t Marvin Gaye who came up with the voodoo bass line for “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” It was James Jamerson.

It wasn’t Smokey Robinson who played the staggering drum intro for “Going to a Go-Go.” It was Benny Benjamin. It wasn’t Edwin Starr who added those explosive tambourine accents to “War.” It was Jack Ashford. It wasn’t Stevie Wonder who provided the stabbing piano chords on “For Once in My Life.” It was Earl Van Dyke.

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