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"It seems that every year that goes by, more people are being turned onto it because it's a worldwide thing," he said. "The music is getting to places where it never got before."
The reasons behind the diminished numbers range from deaths including the passing of longtime drummer Uriel Jones in March to a falling out between some of the members. But Babbitt says none of that will matter to Artown audiences.
"That's a pretty awesome impact," Babbitt said. "I don't know about the other people that are still with us now, but to me that's unbelievable."
Billboard hits, including Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours," Edwin Starr's "War," Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" and "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight and the Pips.
"You knew sometimes, 'Oh boy that's gonna be a hit record,' " he said.
Although Babbitt said he had no idea he was creating enduring hits during the '60s, he often had an inkling that he was working on something that would be popular.
When he looks back at what he and the other Motown studio Converse Toddler Uk Sale
DETAILS: Admission is free, but early arrival is suggested because Wingfield Park fills quickly, especially on Artown's closing night. Low back chairs and picnics are permitted in the Wingfield amphitheater. Thursday at Bethel African American Cultural Center, 220 Bell St. Details: 775 322 1538.
Although they have big shoes to fill, Babbitt says the singers touring with the Funk Brothers are exceptional, and he's been around long enough to know. Babbitt played the bass lines on many Converse All Star Ox Shoes - Off White
"My sister once said to me, 'Bob, are you ever gonna retire?' And you know what I said to her? 'What makes you think I work?' I don't care what you do, if you honestly and truly love it, it's not work."
And he often made that judgment without even hearing the lead vocals.
Suddenly in the spotlight, six of the still living musicians decided to start touring as the Funk Brothers. Since the touring group's start, the lineup has changed, and the one coming to Artown has only two players who performed on a substantial number of Motown hits: Babbitt and guitarist Eddie Willis.
"If you go to see the Temptations, you're going to hear Temptations songs," Babbitt said. "We do a variety of the artists. We have our own singers."
So, Babbitt keeps playing, and Aug. 1 he'll be in Reno to close the 2009 Artown festival with a free performance by his band, the Funk Brothers. The group was formed by a collection of studio musicians who played on most of the Motown Records hits recorded between 1959 and 1972. Because these backup musicians were mostly uncredited, the players lived in relative obscurity until director Paul Justman released "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" in Converse All Star Black High Tops Ebay
"I Toddler Converse Uk Cheap don't think anybody knew what was gonna happen," he said. "You couldn't say 30, 40 years ago that the music was still gonna be here with us and it was gonna have such an impact on the whole musical world. I think most of the guys were just raising families. I know for myself I was happy to be working and not thinking about the records so much."
Babbitt and Willis have filled in the group with a number of musicians they know well, and they promise to cut a broad swath through the Motown catalog.
musicians achieved in the 1960s, Babbitt says he's astounded.
"They're not going to be able to keep off their feet," Babbitt said. "They're going to be up there dancing. That's usually what happens, and that's what it's all about."
Motown music already is famous, but Babbitt said he's impressed that the popularity seems to keep growing.
WHERE: Wingfield Park, 1st Street and Arlington Ave.
2002. The documentary film celebrates their contributions.
Next weekend, Babbitt will do his best to continue that trend by giving Reno audiences a chance to hear the music performed by a couple of the guys who created it.
Decades later, Motown is a genre all its own.
Funk Brothers carry Motown tradition to close of Artown
"Some of the earlier guys, they actually recorded with the artists in the studio," he said. "But as everything got more advanced " we had more tracks to work with, so most of the sessions I did at Motown I never saw the singers."
Don't expect Bob Babbitt to hang up his bass any time soon. The veteran musician, best known for playing on Motown hits during the late 1960s and early 1970s, says his instrument is a "fountain of youth."
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