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The Funk Brothers

Band, 1959-1972 US, Detroit
R&B/Soul
A.k.a. Detroit City Limits The Magnificent Seven (5) The Motown House Band The Soul Brothers (17)

The Funk Brothers were Motown's in-house band and are featured on fairly all the Motown records from 1959 up to 1972. Joe Hunter was the bandleader from 1959 to 1962, Earl Van Dyke from 1963 to 1972. When Motown moved from Detroit to Los Angeles in 1972, The Funk Brothers were disbanded. In 2002 a music documentary was released about The Funk Brothers, called "Standing In The Shadows Of Motown". In the booklet of the 1994 4-CD compilation "Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: 35th Anniversary Collection" there is a survey of all of the members of The Funk Brothers. It is presented by Motown scholar Harry Weinger. Weinger divides the history of the group into three parts: 1959-1962 Joe Hunter, Richard "Popcorn" Wylie, Earl Van Dyke (joining in 1962)- keyboards Robert White, Eddie Willis, Joe Messina, Marv Tarplin- guitars James Jamerson, Clarence Isabell, Joe Williams- bass Benny Benjamin, Richard "Pistol" Allen- drums Jack Ashford, James Gittens- vibes Herbie Williams, John "Little John" Wilson, Marcus Belgrave, Russell Conway, Johnny Trudell- trumpets Bob Cousar, George Bohanon, Paul Riser- trombones Hank Cosby, Andrew "Mike" Terry, Kasuka Mafia (Norris Patterson), Thomas "Beans" Bowles, Teddy Buckner, Ronnie Wakefield, Lefty Edwards, Eli Fontaine, Ernie Rodgers- saxophones Note: Dave Hamilton also played vibes. 1963-1967 Earl Van Dyke, Johnny Griffith- keyboards Robert White, Eddie Willis, Joe Messina, Marv Tarplin -guitars James Jamerson, Bob Babbitt- bass Benny Benjamin, Richard "Pistol" Allen, Uriel Jones- drums Jack Ashford, Eddie "Bongo" Brown- percussion Jack Ashford, Jack Brokensha- vibes Johnny Trudell, Herbie Williams, Floyd Jones, Maurice Davis, Billy Horner, John "Little John" Wilson, Marcus Belgrave, Russell Conway, Don Slaughter- trumpets George Bohanon, Bob Cousar, Jimmy Wilkins, Paul Riser, Don White, Carl Raetz, Patrick Lanier, Bill Johnson- trombones Dayna Hartwick- flute, piccolo Hank Cosby, Andrew "Mike" Terry, Kasuka Mafia, Thomas "Beans" Bowles, Teddy Buckner, Eugene Rodgers, Dan Turner, Bernie Peacock, Larry Nozero- saxophones 1968-1972 Earl Van Dyke, Johnny Griffith- keyboards Robert White, Eddie Willis, Joe Messina, Marv Tarplin, Dennis Coffey, Melvin "Wah Wah" Watson- guitars James Jamerson, Bob Babbitt- bass Uriel Jones, Richard "Pistol" Allen, Andrew Smith- drums Jack Ashford, Eddie "Bongo" Brown- percussion Jack Ashford, Jack Brokensha- vibes Johnny Trudell, Russell Conway, Herbie Williams, Floyd Jones, Maurice Davis, Billy Horner, John "Little John" Wilson, Marcus Belgrave, Don Slaughter, Eddie Jones- trumpets Bob Cousar, Jimmy Wilkins, Paul Riser, Don White, Carl Raetz, Patric Lanier, Bill Johnson- trombones Dayna Hartwick- flute, piccolo Hank Cosby, Kasuka Mafia, Thomas "Beans" Bowles, Teddy Buckner, Lefty Edwards, Eugene "BeeMee" Moore, William "Wild Bill" Moore, Angelo Carlisi, Ernie Rodgers, Dan Turner, Bernie Peacock, Larry Nozero, Eli Fontaine, Lanny Austin- saxophones Concertmaster Gordon Staples and the Detroit Symphony Strings handled the strings throughout the era.

     
Members
PortraitDennis Coffey
g *1940 US
PortraitMelvin Ragin
g *1950 US
PortraitJohnny Griffith
key 1936-2002 US
PortraitJames Jamerson
b 1936-1983 US
PortraitHenry Cosby
ts, sax 1928-2002 US
PortraitHerbie Williams
tr, fh US
PortraitRobert White
g 1936-1994 US
PortraitEli Fontaine
sax US
PortraitEddie "Bongo" Brown
cng, perc 1932-1984 US
PortraitEddie Willis
g *1936 US
PortraitEarl Van Dyke
org 1930-1992 US
PortraitRichard Allen
dr 1932-2002
PortraitUriel Jones
dr 1934-2009
PortraitJack Ashford
perc, vib *1934 US
PortraitJoe Messina
g *1928
PortraitDave Hamilton
g US
PortraitBenny Benjamin
dr 1925-1969 US
PortraitDon White
eb
Kasuka Mafia
sax
PortraitJoe Hunter
key *1927 US
PortraitAndrew "Mike" Terry
sax 1940-2008 US
Larry Veeder
g US
PortraitJohn Wilson
tr US
PortraitRobert Kreinar
b 1937-2012 US
Popular Tracks   
Tell Me It's Just A Rumor Baby - Instrumental on A Cellarful Of Motown! by Various Artists
You're Mine on Greater London Grooves by Various Artists
That's How It Feels on Greater London Grooves by Various Artists
Winter Wonderland on A Motown Christmas by Various Artists
True Fine Boy on A Cellarful Of Motown! by Various Artists
The Truth Does Hurt on A Cellarful Of Motown! by Various Artists

Track list and 30sec audio provided by


Discography



Title Artist Year Type
I'm Not LeavingThe Crystal Method Featuring Martha Reeves & The Funk Brothers2012Album
In the SnakepitThe Funk Brothers2010Album
Live In OrlandoThe Funk Brothers2008Album
The Best Of The Funk BrothersThe Funk Brothers2004Compil.
Standing In The Shadows Of MotownThe Funk Brothers2003Album
"6 By 6"Earl Van Dyke & The Funk Brothers1966Single
The FlickEarl Van Dyke & The Funk Brothers1965Single
All For YouEarl Van Dyke And The Funk Brothers1965Single
That Motown SoundEarl Van Dyke & The Funk Brothers1965Album
I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) / How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)Earl Van Dyke & The Funk Brothers1965Single
Soul StompEarl Van Dyke And The Funk Brothers1965Single
Suspicion / There's A Ghost In My House (Inst)The Miracles / The Funk BrothersSingle
Love Is Like An Itching In My HeartThe Funk BrothersSingle
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Acknowledgements
To all the music fans that are contributing on Discogs, MusicBrainz and Wikipedia. Thanks to Franz Flückiger for providing Storygram used to visualize band membership.
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