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James Jamerson

Here's a name that may not be familiar to the average music fan, but is an absolute legend in the bass community. Name a song from the '60s and '70s that you love, and chances are he laid down the bass part, having played on an astounding 30 number one hits. Who played bass on The Temptations “My Girl?" How about “Heard It Through the Grapevine?” And on nearly all of Marvin Gaye's What's Goin On album? You guessed it. It was James Jamerson.

While Jamerson never really received proper credit — during his era, studio musicians rarely made it into the liner notes, especially at Motown Records — the simple truth is that his bass riffs have paved the way for more pop, R&B, and soul music than literally anyone else to ever pick up an instrument. It may be coming 30 years after his heyday, but we're more than happy to give him his due now.

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