James Jamerson was a phenomenon. His bass lines were the “hooks” that were at least half the reason billions of songs sold. There are partial discographies that list 150 hits of Motown singles (30 of which were #1 hits), and partial discographies that include 180 albums or CD’s. About 70% of Jamerson’s performances went to the top of the R&B charts. Some of the singers he backed were: Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Temptations, Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Martha and the Vandellas, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Tammy Terrel, Kim Weston, Mary Wells, The Jackson Five, Jr. Walker and the All Stars, The Contours, The Marvelletts, The Velvelettes, Brenda Holloway, Marv Johnson, David Ruffin, The Originals, Shorty Long, Marvin Gaye, Edwin Starr, Boz Scags, Bob Dylan, Tom Jones, The Osmunds, Dionne Warwick, Shirley Bassey, Maria Muldar, The Fifth Dimension, The Sylvers, Tina Marie, Rick James, The Dramatics, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, Marlena Shaw, Charo, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Curtis Mayfield, Jackie Wilson, Johnny Mathis, The Hues Corporation, Billy Preston, Jerry Butler, Sammy Davis, Jr., Fontella Bass, John Lee Hooker, Johnny Taylor, John Handy, Hugo Montenegro, Yusef Lateef, Charles Wright and the Watts 103 Street Band, Quincy Jones, Billy Ekstine and Bobby Darin. James Jamerson laid the track for the soul train
Standing in the Shadows of Motown: The Life of Legendary Bassist James Jamerson has an introduction by Paul McCartney. The book contains photos, interviews of The Funk Brothers, Motown singers, arrangers and composers, and transcriptions of some of his bass lines that are played by several great bass players (including Chuck Rainey and Marcus Miller) on the 2 CD’s that come with the book. The Grammy Award winning documentary, Standing in the Shadows of Motown, (based on this book) has narration written by Ntosake Shange and includes performances by Chaka Kahn, Gerald Levert, Meshell Ndegeocello, Michael Harper, Joan Osborne, Bootsie Collins, Montell Jordan and The Funk Brothers.