PLAYLIST: You’ve heard James Jamerson play bass on some of the biggest hits of all time, here are just a few
The bassline of a generation
by Sam Spence
on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 1:41 PM
This week’s cover story by Stephanie Barna illuminates the work of James Jamerson, a bass guitar virtuoso who was born on Edisto Island, but has been snubbed for decades for induction into the official S.C. Hall of Fame.
One man’s battle to get Motown great James Jamerson into the S.C. Hall of Fame: The most influential bassist in modern music is a native son
One man’s battle to get Motown great James Jamerson into the S.C. Hall of Fame
The most influential bassist in modern music is a native son
That bass player was James Jamerson, a Lowcountry native born in Edisto, who grew up to become one of the most influential bassists of all time. His first liner-note credit came more than a decade after he started playing in Detroit, on Marvin Gaye’s 1971 record What’s Going On, a funky concept album defined by the dirty groove pulsing underneath Gaye’s velvety voice.
By Stephanie Barna
Jamerson’s career credits make up a crazy-long list of top Motown, soul, and Top 40 hits, a more impressive, illustrious collection of work than almost any other musician in history. From the basslines on Marvin Gaye’s What’s Goin’ On to Jackson 5’s Darling Dear, Jamerson’s influence touched every corner of popular music for a generation.
“OK, I get it, he played on a lot of popular records,” you’re probably thinking.
To that I would tell you that I’m serious, James Jamerson played with almost every single popular musician of the Motown era.
So, check out the story in this week’s paper, on racks now, and listen to this Spotify playlist of just a few notable basslines laid down by Jamerson.