James Jamerson or Carol Kaye: who played what? Uncovering the truth behind the Motown mystery

James Jamerson and Carol Kaye
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We like to think we’re a fairly rock ’n’ roll bunch here at Bass Player: after all, the bass guitar is the coolest instrument on the planet, and it deserves to be played loud. 

That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a spot of academic rigor when the moment calls for it, though, and indeed, we were fascinated back in 2019 by an article called Reconstructing the History of Motown Session Musicians: The Carol Kaye/James Jamerson Controversy, published in the learned Journal of the Society for American Music, and available for your perusal online

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Joel McIver

Joel McIver was the Editor of Bass Player magazine from 2018 to 2022, having spent six years before that editing Bass Guitar magazine. A journalist with 25 years' experience in the music field, he's also the author of 35 books, a couple of bestsellers among them. He regularly appears on podcasts, radio and TV.