For decades no-one even knew his name. This month, James Jamerson will have a street named after him

James Jamerson Motown Studios
(Image credit: Photos by Karjean Levine/Getty Images, Dave Hogan/Live 8 via Getty Images, JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images, Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images & Richard Ecclestone/Redferns)

It’s been 40 years since the bass pioneer, James Jamerson, died at the age of only 47. Virtually unknown at the time of his passing, but a star at the peak of his creativity, he created a legacy that is unparalleled in the bass guitar world. So much so that you voted him number one in our poll to find the 100 greatest bass players of all time.

As part of Motown’s house band, Jamerson was the bass player behind hundreds of hit records from Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Four Tops, and The Temptations – resulting in such masterworks as Bernadette, I Was Made to Love Her, You Can’t Hurry Love, and My Girl

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.