The Funk Brothers

group of Motown studio musicians

The Funk Brothers were a group of Detroit soul musicians who performed the backing to most Motown recordings from 1959 until the company moved to Los Angeles in 1972.

They are thought to be one of the most successful groups of studio musicians in music history. The Funk Brothers played on Motown hits such as "My Girl", "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", "Baby Love", "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours", "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone", "The Tears of a Clown", "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", and "Heat Wave".

The were 13 verified members of the group and they were identified by both NARAS for the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and were recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Some believed the group "played on more number-one hits than the Beatles, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys combined."[1]


  1. Justman, Paul (2002). Standing in the Shadows of Motown (Motion picture). New York: Artisan Entertainment.

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