Robert Andrew Kreinar (November 26, 1937 – July 16, 2012), known as Bob Babbitt, was an American bassist, most famous for his work as a member of Motown Records' studio band, the Funk Brothers, from 1966 to 1972, as well as his tenure as part of MFSB for Philadelphia International Records afterwards. Also in 1968, with Mike Campbell, Ray Monette and Andrew Smith, he formed the band Scorpion, which lasted until 1970.[1] He is ranked number 59 on Bass Player magazine's list of "The 100 Greatest Bass Players of All Time".[2]

Bob Babbitt
Babbitt in 2004
Babbitt in 2004
Background information
Birth nameRobert Andrew Kreinar
Born(1937-11-26)November 26, 1937
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedJuly 16, 2012(2012-07-16) (aged 74)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Years active1961–2012
Formerly ofThe Funk Brothers

Babbitt traded off sessions with original Motown bassist James Jamerson. When Motown moved to Los Angeles, Babbitt went in the opposite direction and ended up in New York as well as making occasional trips to Philadelphia.[3] In this new city, he worked on recordings for Frank Sinatra, Barry Manilow, Gloria Gaynor, Robert Palmer, and Alice Cooper. During this time, his most notable successes were "Midnight Train to Georgia"(1973) by Gladys Knight & the Pips and "The Rubberband Man" by The Spinners.[4]

The Pittsburgh-born Babbitt's most notable bass performances include "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" (1970) by Stevie Wonder; "War" (1970) by Edwin Starr; "The Tears of a Clown" (1970) by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles; "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" (1971) and "Inner City Blues" (1971) by Marvin Gaye; "Band of Gold" (1970) by Freda Payne; "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)", "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)" (1971) and "Masterpiece" (1973) by The Temptations; "Scorpio" (1971) by Dennis Coffey;[5] and "Just Don't Want to Be Lonely" (1973) by The Main Ingredient.

He participated in hundreds of other hits, including "Little Town Flirt" by Del Shannon and "Scorpio" by Dennis Coffey & the Detroit Guitar Band. He played on the Jimi Hendrix album Crash Landing. He also played bass on Cindy Bullens' 1979 album Desire Wire. He accepted an offer from Phil Collins to perform on his album of Motown and 1960s soul classics, Going Back, and also appeared in Collins' Going Back – Live at Roseland Ballroom, NYC concert DVD. He appeared on stage in an episode of American Idol, backing up Jacob Lusk's performance of "You're All I Need to Get By" for AI's Motown Week in March 2011.

In 2003, Babbitt played on Marion James' album Essence, and amongst others playing on the record were Beegie Adair, Reese Wynans, Jack Pearson (The Allman Brothers), and drummer Chucki Burke.[6]

He was added to the Music City Walk of Fame in June 2012.[7]

Babbitt died on July 16, 2012, aged 74, from brain cancer.[8][9][10]

Discography edit

With Frank Black

With Dee Dee Bridgewater

With Carlene Carter

  • Two Sides to Every Woman (Warner Bros., 1979)

With Joe Cocker

With Dennis Coffey

  • Hair and Thangs (Maverick, 1969)
  • Evolution (Sussex, 1971)
  • Goin' for Myself(Sussex, 1972)
  • Electric Coffey(Sussex, 1972)

With Phil Collins

With Peter Frampton

With Marvin Gaye

With Gloria Gaynor

With Major Harris

  • My Way (Atlantic Records, 1974)

With Richie Havens

  • Connections (Elektra, 1980)

With Cissy Houston

With Sass Jordan

  • Get What You Give (Universal Music, 2006)

With Margie Joseph

  • Sweet Surrender (Atlantic, 1974)
  • Margie (Atlantic, 1975)

With Eric Kaz

  • Cul-De-Sac (Atlantic, 1974)

With Ben E. King

With Nils Lofgren

  • Nils (A&M, 1979)

With Taj Mahal

With Barry Manilow

With Herbie Mann

With Kathy McCord

With Jimmy McGriff

With Moon Martin

  • Mystery Ticket (Capitol, 1982)

With Jackie Moore

  • Sweet Charlie Babe (Atlantic Records, 1973)

With Kenny Nolan

  • A Song Between Us (Polydor, 1978)

With Laura Nyro

With Yoko Ono

With Robert Palmer

With Teddy Pendergrass

With Roxanne Potvin

With Bonnie Raitt

With Irene Reid

  • Two of Us (Glades, 1976)

With Vicki Sue Robinson

  • Vicki Sue Robinson (RCA Victor, 1976)

With Rodriguez

With Jimmy Ruffin

  • Jimmy Ruffin (Polydor, 1973)

With Tom Rush

With Helen Schneider

  • Let It Be Now (RCA Records, 1978)

With Marlena Shaw

With Sister Sledge

With Lonnie Smith

With Spinners

  • New And Improved (Atlantic, 1974)

With Rod Stewart

With The Temptations

  • Sky's the Limit (Motown, 1971)
  • All Derections (Motown, 1972)
  • Masterpiece (Motown, 1973)

With Stanley Turrentine

With Frankie Valli

With Dionne Warwick

With Deniece Williams

References edit

  1. ^ "Scorpion (album, band)". BadCat Records, Reston, VA, USA. Archived from the original on September 29, 2018. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  2. ^ "The 100 Greatest Bass Players of All Time". NewBay Media. September 5, 2023.
  3. ^ Jisi, Chris. "Bob Babbitt: 1937-2012." Bass Player October 2012: 16. General OneFile. Web. April 16, 2014.
  4. ^ Jisi, Chris. "Phil Chen & Bob Glaub pay tribute to Bob Babbitt & Duck Dunn." Bass Player April 2013: 18+. General OneFile. Web. April 16, 2014.
  5. ^ "Who Played on Scorpio by Dennis Coffey?". Dennis Coffey. Retrieved April 6, 2024.
  6. ^ "Marion James". Music City Roots. Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  7. ^ "Bob Babbitt | Nashville Walk of Fame |". Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  8. ^ Laing, Dave (July 18, 2012). "Bob Babbitt obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  9. ^ "Bob Babbitt – Obituary". July 16, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  10. ^ "Bob Babbitt, Motown Bassist With Funk Brothers, Dies at 74". The New York Times. July 18, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2017.

Sources edit

External links edit