James Lee Jamerson (January 29, 1936 – August 2, 1983) was an American bass player. He was the uncredited bassist on most of Motown Records' hits in the 1960s and early 1970s (Motown did not list session musician credits on their releases until 1971), and he has become regarded as one of the most influential bass players in modern music history. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
A native of Edisto Island (near Charleston), South Carolina, Jamerson moved with his mother to Detroit, Michigan in 1954. He learned to play the double bass at Northwestern High School, and he soon began playing in Detroit area blues and jazz clubs.
Jamerson continued performing in Detroit clubs after graduating high school, and his increasingly solid reputation started providing him opportunities for sessions at various local recording studios. Starting in 1959 he found steady work at Berry Gordy's Hitsville U.S.A. studio, home of the Motown record label. There he became a member of a core of studio musicians who informally called themselves The Funk Brothers. This small, close-knit group of musicians performed on the vast majority of Motown recordings during most of the 1960s....