The Funk Brothers was the nickname of Detroit, Michigan, session musicians who performed the backing to most Motown Records recordings from 1959 until 1972, when the company moved to Los Angeles.

Early members included bandleader Joe Hunter and Earl Van Dyke (piano); James Jamerson (bass guitar); Benny "Papa Zita" Benjamin and Richard "Pistol" Allen (drums); Robert White, Eddie Willis, and Joe Messina (guitar); Jack Ashford (tambourine, percussion, vibraphone, marimba); Jack Brokensha (vibraphone, marimba); and Eddie "Bongo" Brown (percussion). Hunter left in 1964, replaced on keyboards by Johnny Griffith and as bandleader by Van Dyke. Uriel Jones joined the band as a third drummer. Late era bassist Bob Babbitt joined the ensemble in 1967.

There have been many articles written which identifies the actual members of The Funk Brothers, some of which claim that virtually every musician who ever played on a Motown track as a "Funk Brother". In actuality, there are 13 actual Funk Brothers as identified in the film Standing In The Shadows Of Motown, as well as 13 members identified by both NARAS for the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and recognized by the recent Star on the Hollywood Walk Of fame.

Motown released a handful of singles and LPs by Earl Van Dyke. The Funk Brothers shared billing with Van Dyke on some recordings, although they were billed as "Earl Van Dyke & the Soul Brothers"


The Funk Brothers have received three Grammy awards:

Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004
Best Traditional R&B Performance for "What's Going On" with Chaka Khan, 2002
Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media for Standing in the Shadows of Motown, 2002.
Bassist James Jamerson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, and drummer Benny Benjamin in 2003. In 2003, surviving members were invited to the White House to meet President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, in an event tied to Black History Month
 

(Love Is Like A)  Heatwave Lyrics

All For You

Instrumental
Bari Track Instrumental
Bernadette Lyrics
For Once In My Life Lyrics
Home Cookin' Instrumental
How Sweet It Is Lyrics
I Can't Help Myself Lyrics
I Heard It Through The Grapevine Lyrics
It's A Shame Instrumental
My Girl Lyrics
Nowhere To Run Nowhere To Hide Instrumental
Six By Six Instrumental
Tell Me It's A Rumour Baby Instrumental
The Way You Do The Things You Do Lyrics
There's A Ghost In My House Lyrics
You Better Cool It Instrumental
   
What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted Lyrics
What's Going On Lyrics
You've Really Got A Hold On Me Lyrics
You're My Everything Lyrics
   

N.B. Some are played here as instrumentals but where available

I have provided some of the lyrics to those tunes anyway

 

 

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