RIP: Bob Babbitt, Motown bassist

RIP: Bob Babbitt, Motown bassist

From Detroit Free Press:

Motown bass player Bob Babbitt, whose work lit up a host of hits in the ’60s and ’70s, died [Monday, July 16] in Nashville, friends said. He was 74.

Babbitt had been diagnosed in early 2011 with an inoperable brain tumor. He was recently readmitted to the hospital after a year of home hospice care.

“Bob was a teddy bear of a guy,” said former Motown engineer Ed Wolfrum. “And he was an extraordinary musician — a player’s player.”

At Motown Records in the late ’60s, Babbitt’s thick, fluid bass lines drove the groove on songs by the Temptations (“Ball of Confusion”), Stevie Wonder (“Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours),” Rare Earth (“Losing You”), Smokey Robinson & the Miracles (“The Tears of a Clown”) and many others.

• Bob Babbitt: