Thursday, March 26, 2009
Uriel Jones joined the Funk Brothers as a drummer in 1963. A 2002 documentary on these unsung musicians brought to the forefront the power and beat behind Motown's hits. In an ironic notes, last night American Idol featured (in some cases butchered) songs from Motown. Contestants were guided by Smokey Robinson and in attendance was Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown. According to his NY Times obit, Uriel can be heard on on Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” the Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” the Miracles’ “Tracks of My Tears,” Jimmy Ruffin’s “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted,” and Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” among many other songs.
Mr Jones continued to live in the Detroit area after Motown left and toured with remaining Funk Brothers after the release of the documentary. He died on Tuesday of complications from a heart attack. He left behind a very impressive legacy.