The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

James Jamerson

Induction category: Sideman


One of the unsung heroes of the Motown sound, James Jamerson was described by Motown founder Berry Gordy as “a genius on the bass... and incredible improviser in the studio and somebody I always wanted on my sessions.” He was the anchor of the in-house group at Motown dubbed the Funk Brothers. Although few among the record-buying public ever never knew Jamerson by name, they were well-acquainted with his work, which included the bass lines on such Motown classics as “Reach Out I’ll Be There” by the Four Tops, “Dancing in the Street” by Martha and the Vandellas, “I Was ...

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James Jamerson Highlights

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Rock Hall's Essential Songs

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