The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

Benny Benjamin

Induction category: Sideman


William “Benny” Benjamin (drums; born early 1930s, died 1969)  Benny Benjamin was Motown’s first drummer and, together with bassist James Jamerson, provided the rhythmic anchor for the Motown Sound. He was an essential member of that collective of session musicians known as the Funk Brothers. Drawing upon his background in big bands, which dated back to the 1940s, Benjamin brought jazz, swing and Latin influences to the Motown groove. With his deft brushwork and explosive drum fills, Benjamin propelled classics by such Motown artists as the Temptations, the Miracles, the Four Tops, the Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Martha ...

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