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Motown: The View From The Bottom Hardcover – 28 Oct 2003
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From the Inside Flap
The Funk Brothers were Motown's house musicians throughout the 1960s. They not only played on, but helped to create, more number one hits than The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley and The Rolling Stones put together.
Drawn by Motown founder Berry Gordy from the ranks of the finest jazz players, they fused into the most formidable musical group in recording history.
Playing shoulder to shoulder in 'The Snake Pit' (Hitsville's Studio A) they turned the people of the world on to the relentlessly rhythmic and intricate music that became known as The Motown Sound.
The key to their uniqueness wasa shared innate sense of the whole picture that delivered superbly crafted tracks, day in, day out, each bursting with energy, soul and spontaneity.
Thundering pianos, three guitars, two or more drummers and the legendary infectious bass-lines - all were brought to life by the stunning percussion work of Jack Ashford.
Whe Motown shipped out of Detroit, the musicians were left high and dry as if their glory days had never been.
Forty years on, with some of their number now sadly passed on, their contribution is at last being recognised with documentary films, awards and honours.
After all the ups and downs, Jack's back where he belongs, bringing his unequalled talent to whole new generations.
Now it's time for him to tell his side of the story. The anger and disappointment at the betrayals of the past, the grief for absent friends are set against a life-affirming story told with unique wit and humour by a man who provided the backing track to millions of lives.
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Patricia A. Washington (Sweet Pea)
Author of Bedford Street Memoirs (Living On My Block in the 60's)
Bronx, New York
Mr. Ashford seems like a very decent straight-up guy. He gives an inside view that's not simply nostalgic myth-making. I have the feeling that he has more to say about the way the musicians were treated by the company but is too much of a gentleman to reveal it all.
Good book and a worthwhile part of the literature about the creation of the Motown music of the 1960's.