The Funk Brothers

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 1996 (The 1997 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? No  what's this?

Inducted into Rock Hall Revisited in 1989 (ranked #1 in the Sidemen (Backing Groups) category) .

The Funk Brothers @ Wikipedia

The Funk Brothers Videos

Will The Funk Brothers be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."


23 comments so far (post your own)

These guys are responsible for every Motown artist's success! They play with and for everybody. They've influenced directly or indirectly 90% of the current and future Hall of Famers!

Shame on the Hall of Fame and especially Jann Weller!

Posted by Dave on Tuesday, 03.18.08 @ 14:42pm

I think the Funk Brothers should be inducted as sidemen. Someone else wrote the songs, but they created the Motown sound...which is as identifiable as any of the singers.

By the way...The name is Jann Wenner...aka Rock & Roll's Royal Ass-Holiness!!

Posted by Terry on Tuesday, 03.18.08 @ 18:39pm

Two of the Funk Brothers are already in as sidemen. Benny Benjamin and James Jamerson.

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Tuesday, 03.18.08 @ 22:03pm


Posted by mrxyz on Saturday, 08.1.09 @ 22:52pm

Joe Messina now hear is a guitar MAN THAT TOOK NO PRISONERS.. He doesn't need much gizmo's with his Gibson L-5 and tele jazz master neck,, Messina is the creator of an alternative music technique known as The Interval Study Method, which uses the chromatic and diatonic scales to create music.
He is the real influence...!

Posted by mrxyz on Tuesday, 11.17.09 @ 18:45pm

Where--WHAT--would Motown be without the Funk Brothers, who only got credit for what they did lately (and tragically, posthumously for several). They are the very definition of sidemen--those that contributed without ever getting their time in the spotlight.

Enough already. Put them in.

Posted by Joe on Wednesday, 11.18.09 @ 20:34pm

Joe, they've started inducting the Funk Brothers... as individuals in the Side-Man category. Benny Benjamin and James Jamerson are in so far. But yeah, they should get more of them.

Posted by Philip on Thursday, 11.19.09 @ 16:51pm

All the Funk Brothers as a GROUP should be inducted.

Additionally, Dennis Coffey deserves individual induction for his amazing work many R&B and Funk/Rock fusion hits of the late '60s - '70s.

Remember that while Coffey & all his fellow Funk Brothers were handed charts for the songs, they were merely structural and the writers/producers EXPECTED that each player add their chops. Indeed, it's this that made so many of the Detroit sound hits so memorable!!!

Posted by Phil on Friday, 12.31.10 @ 22:38pm

The treatment and lack of proper legacy and recognition of the Funk Brothers is nothing less,to me, than one of the greatest tragedys/travesties of show business, period. Motown had some great artists, but none of them would have been nearly as successful without that Motown sound layed down by this incredibly gifted bunch of musicians!

Posted by burnin vernon on Thursday, 02.17.11 @ 20:53pm

The Funk Brothers should have been inducted in the sideman category as a group.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Friday, 11.11.11 @ 16:58pm

Until Jann Wenner somehow dies or is ousted out of the committee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you will never see legitimate artists that truly influenced rock and roll get in. Since oustering is probably not likely, the world will have to wait for him to die. There are so many acts that have no business being there and artists that created legendary music such as the Funk Brothers are overlooked. At the very minimum, each member that played for Motown's Studio band should be nominated as "Sidemen". But idiots like Jann Wenner and his cronies don't have a clue about the order in which artists should be inducted. They need an organized criteria based on multiple factors. Hell a computer program based on specific criteria could pull out better choices than those bozos.

Posted by Mike H on Tuesday, 11.22.11 @ 21:52pm

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Either the group as sidemen, or each individually (and not just the few that are in already). The definition of sidemen almost spells out what the Funk Brothers did for Motown, and God knows what the Supremes, Temptations, Four Tops, and too many others to mention would be without these unheralded musicians.

Posted by Joe on Sunday, 01.8.12 @ 20:08pm

If there is a real reason to NOT consider them - let all of us know!

Name any other group of musicians able to do and accomplish all that they did!

Posted by chbpe on Thursday, 01.26.12 @ 14:00pm

Actually, the Funk Brothers can also be added to the earlier list of artists who you will be seeing inducted next year or the year after in the sidemen category or as addendums in the main performers category:

The Funk Brothers
The Jordanaires
The Belmonts
The Mothers of Invention
The E Street Band
The Silver Bullet Band
The Wailers
The Revolution

Inducting The Funk Brothers would give a second induction for James Jamerson and Benny Benjamin

This is who All Music Guide lists as the members of The Funk Brothers

James Jamerson
Joe Messina
Eddie Willis
Robert White
Johnny Griffith
Richard "Pistol" Allen
Jack Ashford
Earl Van Dyke
Eddie "Bongo" Brown
Uriel Jones
Bob Babbitt
Joe Hunter
Benny Benjamin

This is who Wikipedia lists as the members of the Funk Brothers

Joe Hunter
Robert White
Eddie Willis
Joe Messina
James Jamerson
Marvin Gaye :question: Do you think they will induct him a second time?
Benny Benjamin
Richard "Pistol" Allen
Jack Ashford
Eddie "Bongo" Brown
Johnny Griffith
Uriel Jones
Earl Van Dyke
Bob Babbitt
Dennis Coffey

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 04.17.12 @ 23:15pm

The Funk Brothers

01. James Jamerson
02. Benny Benjamin
03. Joe Messina
04. Eddie Willis
05. Robert White
06. Johnny Griffith
07. Jack Ashford
08. Earl Van Dyke
09. Richard "Pistol" Allen
10. Eddie "Bongo" Brown
11. Uriel Jones
12. Bob Babbitt
13. Joe Hunter
14. Marvin Gaye
15. Dennis Coffey

Posted by Roy on Sunday, 06.3.12 @ 21:27pm

Rest in Peace Bob Babbitt, ca. 1930-2012

Posted by Joe on Monday, 07.16.12 @ 19:37pm

Bob Babbitt also worked with legendary producer Thom Bell on such Spinners classics as "Then Came You", "Games People Play" and "The Rubberband Man", then also the Elton John 1979 Top 10 hit, "Mama Can't Buy You Love" (LeRoy Bell & Casey James)!

Rest in peace.

Posted by Rick Vendl II on Monday, 07.16.12 @ 22:54pm

get standing in the shadow of motown dvd for a historical look at the funk brothers and the great music they played.

Posted by george on Thursday, 08.16.12 @ 17:37pm


The Funk Brothers

Bass: James Jamerson, Bob Babbitt
Guitar: Joe Messina, Robert White, Eddie Willis
Keyboards: Joe Hunter, Earl Van Dyke, Johnny Griffith
Drums: Uriel Jones, Richard "Pistol" Allen, Eddie "Bongo" Brown, William "Bennie" Benjamin
Vibes, tambourine: Jack Ashford

Posted by Roy on Monday, 03.4.13 @ 22:48pm

without the funk brother Motown would not have changed the course of music. As somebody who has played piano for 45 years they created the greatest sound in last 65 yrs in music. without them half of motowmns songs , wich I love would have never been as successful. It is a shame that musicians today don't even know who they are.Shame on the music industry

Posted by greg on Wednesday, 11.4.15 @ 17:04pm

Funk Bros not in the Hall? Ninety percent of the performers inducted don't have the talent to be a member of the Funk Brothers!

Posted by bill on Sunday, 12.17.17 @ 03:41am

I agree Bill a travesty

Posted by Drrock on Sunday, 12.17.17 @ 08:03am

If you were a music lover of Motown as I was in the 60's, then it's a simple fact that your life's soundtrack was performed by some of the greatest musicians of the time. THE FUNK BROTHERS! Why at this time they have not been inducted into the rock n' roll hall fame is a mystery to me. The Funk Brothers played on loads of albums and backed major artists with barely any recognition at the time. Doesn't anyone from the RRHOF want to show their support by nominating them?

Posted by Bryan on Friday, 01.12.18 @ 21:28pm

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