Who played bass in Don't Leave Me This Way?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by crispygoat, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. crispygoat

    crispygoat Guest

    Aug 22, 2006
    London, Ontario
    Did Jamerson play bass on Thelma Houston's Don't Leave Me This Way or was it someone else?

    that bass tone is :eek:
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Not Jamerson, IMO.

    I always liked that tune...Diana Ross' "Love Hangover" is very, very similar.
  3. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Ron Baker maybe? That band had a very Philly Intl. sound. Definitely a Gamble & Huff tune. No info found online but Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes did the song originally so I'm gonna go with Ronnie Baker.
    The Owl likes this.
  4. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    No way "The Hook" could have played those runs in that song.
  5. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Just a guess but Bernard Edwards?

  6. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    DW, I think it was actually a Motown record. I think it was likely recorded in Motown's LA studio which means it could have been Jamerson, but more likely someone like Wilton Felder.
    dberman likes this.
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I did a quick look, and that release was Motown.
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    DW, you are right. It was written by Gamble and Huff, and first recorded by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1975. Thelma Houston covered it in 1977.
  9. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    Maybe we could end the speculation and just say Carol Kaye did the track? :p
    The Owl likes this.
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I saw the number of responses to the thread and figured the answer would already be here. I'm surprised.

    Henry Davis of LTD, the band Jeffrey Osborne used to front.
    rickwebb and Kubicki Fan like this.
  11. Buskman


    Apr 13, 2007
    Jersey Shore, USA

    May I present...

    exhibit A: "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" by Gladys Knight & The Pips

    exhibit B: "Reach Out (I'll Be There)" by The Four Tops

    etc., etc., etc...

    Jamerson could play those runs in his sleep, IMO! :)
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings

    Good ear, Jim. Same guy.
    BTW he was on Herbie Hancock's "Man Child" along with Paul Jackson and Louis Johnson. Loved that album.
  13. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Thanks, Brad. It was killing me,,,I was almost in the DW camp & thought of Ronnie Baker (the Gamble/Huff and Harold & The Blue Notes connection).

    Henry Davis, huh? The tone on the Houston & Ross tracks remind me of LTD's "Jam" & "Holding On" (both found on Togetherness). Testing my memory...his bass tone on the previous album (the one w/ "Back In Love Again") sounded a bit more "refined"?

    There's also a '70s Fusion release by Alphonse Mouzon w/ Davis on bass (Mind Transplant).
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    The main reason I believed it NOT to be JJ...those somewhat Disco-fied octaves used throughout "Don't Leave Me This Way".
    Don't think JJ ever did any of those. ;)
  15. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    If that's the case, he definitely used more than one finger. He had to have some unique technique that made it look like it was just one finger. We're talking 1/16 note runs here. No way one finger did that. I'd have to see it to believe it.
  16. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Those in the Kaye played "I Was Made To Love Her" camp...say the same.
    There's a youtube bassist that plays the Motown tunes in a very authentic manner...one-finger, sunburst P-bass, chrome ashtray over the pickup, etc. He pulls it off.
    ...and I can't remember his name, either!
  17. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    The Thelma Houston version is on Motown. It sounds like Carol Kaye to me. PBass with a pick.
    abaguer likes this.
  18. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That was Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes version. Thelma Houston's version was two years later on Motown.

    Brad, I'm just like JimK, the moment you said it was Henry Davis of LTD, I could hear the similarity in tone to all of those great LTD songs. As a guy who was never the fastest slapper, I loved Henry Davis (although I did not know his name) because he played such funky octave figures without slapping. I saw him live a few times too. He could really spank a P-bass!:bassist:
    Kubicki Fan likes this.
  19. T-MOST


    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    Actually by the time Thelma did the tune she was working with Motown... You're right. So.... Jamerson could have pulled it off no question. I still don't think it's his style though.
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