Fans were “Dancing In The Street” when
The Funk Brothers were Honored with
Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Motown Musician’s Star is situated next to the stars of famed Musicians Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Herbie Hancock
Watch the complete Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony for The Funk Brothers at the end of this page.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that renowned Motown musicians The Funk Brothers were honored today, on March 21, 2013 with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Accepting the star were the surviving Funk Brothers Jack Ashford and Eddie Willis. “We are happy to honor The Funk Brothers on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!” stated Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President/CEO, Leron Gubler. “Many of us grew up with their amazing hit songs which they performed with some of the biggest stars of Motown!”
Gubler and guest speakers Stevie Wonder, Ray Parker Jr. and Mickey Stevenson helped The Funk Brothers unveil the 2,493rd Star in the Category of Recording at 7065 Hollywood Boulevard across from the Live Nation Building. “We have placed The Funk Brothers star next to the stars of famed musicians Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Herbie Hancock,”said Ana Martinez, producer of the Walk of Fame. “Fans all over the world watched the star ceremony LIVE on www.walkoffame.com!”
Between the late 1950s and 1970s, the Funk Brothers was the heartbeat on nearly every major hit record from Motown’s Detroit era. This unsung group of musicians arranged and played on more No. 1 hit songs than any other band in history. Their body of work makes them the greatest musical hit machine, and the most creative musical force in the history of popular music. The Funk Brothers created that unmistakable sound that launched a thousand hits. Listen to any hit song today to emerge from the Motown era, and you will hear the original, unique and signature riffs and rhythms created by the magic tunes of the Funk Brothers that became — and will be forever known as — the Motown sound.
While other musicians accompanied them from time to time, the Funk Brothers band was a 13-member group of highly-talented musicians comprised of: Richard “Pistol” Allen, Jack Ashford, Bob Babbitt, William "Benny" Benjamin, Eddie "Bongo" Brown, Johnny Griffith, Joe Hunter, James Jamerson, Uriel Jones, Joe Messina, Robert White, Eddie Willis and Earl Van Dyke.
In the late 1950s in what was called “Hitsville USA” inside a tiny Detroit basement studio called the “snake pit" and under contract for Motown Records, the Funk Brothers spent days and countless nights arranging and recording the unshakeable and unmistakable foundation of music for many of Motown’s legendary stars. For 20 years, they transformed that small basement in Detroit into a Motown hit factory by a world-class studio band, often paid only $10 per song; and where such greats as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, and Smokey Robinson got their start as teenagers and were mentored by the Funk Brothers themselves.
This brilliant ensemble participated in developing, arranging and producing many of the legendary songs and No. 1 hit songs we still hear and enjoy today. The group performed with Diana Ross, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and The Pips, The Jackson Five, and many more. Some of their award-winning hits include: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, Baby Love, Back in My Arms Again, Can I Get a Witness?, For Once in My Life, Going to a GO-GO, The Tears of a Clown, What’s Going On, You are the Sunshine of My Life, Papa Was a Rolling Stone and many, many others.
In 2002, over 40 years after they played their first note and three decades since they were all together, the Funk Brothers reunited in Detroit to play their music and tell their unforgettable story, as part of the double-Grammy Award-winning documentary “Standing In The Shadows Of Motown.” The documentary recognized The Funk Brothers’ musical contributions and their unprecedented body of work. The Music Division of the Library of Congress presented a movie screening of “Standing In The Shadows Of Motown” as part of “I Hear America Singing,” an initiative to celebrate America’s rich musical heritage.
For more information and to view who shares a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, visit www.walkoffame.com
ABOUT THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME – www.WalkOfFame.com
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an internationally-recognized Hollywood icon. With approximately 24 star ceremonies annually broadcast around the world, the constant reinforcement provided to the public has made the Walk of Fame a top visitor attraction. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce continues to administer the Walk of Fame as the representative of the City of Los Angeles. The Walk of Fame is a tribute to all of those who worked diligently to develop the concept and to maintain this world-class tourist attraction. The Walk of Fame is open to the public. No paid admission or assigned seating at star ceremonies. It is understood that the cost of installing a star on the Walk of Fame upon approval is $30,000 and the sponsor of the nominee accepts the responsibility for arranging for payment to the Hollywood Historic Trust, a 501(c)3