Who Was Aretha Franklins Bass Player

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by srxplayer, Sep 2, 2004.

  1. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    I have been checking the threads through the search feature but came up with nothing.

    I'm also wondering what type of bass is being used on Chain of Fool and Respect. Thought it was a Jazz at first but the tone is trebly and thumpy on this recording possibly a Rickenbacker. I'm confused Help!

    I have been listening to a lot of her stuff lately and I'm really into the bass lines.

    I was told it was James Jamerson. Is that true? Wouldn't suprise me but nobody knows for sure.

    This is probably a stupid question to most but I'm obsessing over this and can't function at work until I know the answer.
  2. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Much of the session work done for Aretha Franklin while she was in Memphis was done by Booker T and the MGs. The bass player was none other than the great Donald "Duck" Dunn.

    now get back to work :D
    Lownote38 and Ductapeman like this.
  3. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    It's usually the rarely mentioned Tommy Cogbill who played on a lot of Aretha tunes that are sometimes credited to other players.

    Aretha didn't have a single "go to" guy in the bass chair when it came time to record or perform. In the last decade or so, "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson played on some of her stuff, along with Marcus as well.
    Ductapeman and bucephylus like this.
  4. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    I'm pretty sure that "Think" features Jerry Jemmot on the bass with Tommy Cogbill (a bassist himself) on the guitar.

    Cogbill apparently played bass on some of Franklin's tracks.
  5. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    He played on "Rock Steady". SICK bassline!!!!
  6. AEllis


    Oct 7, 2003
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Yeah, you guys are all correct. I've recently been buying a lot of Aretha's early 70's reissues on vinyl. They switch around, but the bassists are usually Chuck Rainey, David Hood, Tommy Cogbill and Jerry Jemott.

    Playing along with these albums can offer an entire bass education.
    getrhythm and Lennie smith like this.
  7. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    On Aretha Franklin's Amazing Grace album. That guy can groove Pentacostal style lke nobody's business!
    Billyzoom likes this.
  8. Didn't James Jamerson and/or Nathan Watts play with Aretha on some recordings?
  9. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    maybe it's not your business!!!


    ;) :D
  10. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Well maybe I'll have to make it my business!
  11. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    I read in Bass Player that Tommy Cogbill played on Respect.
  12. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000

    James Jamerson Greatest Hits
  13. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    Anyone got any idea on the bass used on those two songs? The tone is confusing to me. I realize that it could be the recording engineer changing the tone somewhat but it sounds more natual to me.

    It just sounds kinda weird, but in a good way. I really like the tone in those songs.

    Who ever that is on that song is laying down a sweet groove.
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    My guess is a Fender...doubt it's a Rick.

    When I hear Aretha, I think Jerry Jemmott(Live At The Fillmore) then Chuck Rainey.
  15. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I think its a Fender P bass. I could be wrong.
  16. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000

    My guess on the bass in question would be a Fender too. Dunno why, but Im thinking P bass.

    What are some other artists/tunes that you can recomend that have Jerry Jemmott and Chuck Rainey. Ive heard both names before and probably heard some of their work. I just probably dont know it.

    Didnt Rainey do the MASH and Sanford and Son themes?
  17. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    Ok I can accept that it's probably a p-bass.

    I can go back to work now.
  18. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    M*A*S*H(the TV show) sounds like Carol Kaye.
    Rainey may have done the movie version.
    Rainey did do "The Theme To Sanford & Son".
    Another cool movie soundtrack of Rainey's is "The Theme To The Anderson Tapes". That may be available on some Quincy Jones' album. The line is 'a keeper'. ;)

    For more Rainey-
    Steely Dan-The Royal Scam. "Kid Charlemagne" should knock your socks off; "The Fez" & "Green Earrings" & "Don't Take Me Alive", too.
    Steely Dan-Aja. "Josie"? "Peg"?

    Another of my Rainey favourites is Where Is The Love by Donny Hathaway/Roberta Flack.
    Aretha's tune "Rock Steady"...and her album Young, Gifted, & Black.

    So many to name...next!
  19. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    i know this is an old post, but I found it while searching for info on Tommy Cogbill. maybe everyone's already found the answers but the information on who played on Aretha's Atlantic recordings is pretty much easy to find, in re-issue liner notes or on Allmusic.com

    so, just to sum up, yes, Tommy Cogbill did play on Respect and Chain of Fools. from what I can tell from collecting her Atlantic discs, Cogbill played every track she made for Atlantic until Think, which Jerry Jemmott cut, at which point Jemmott seems to "take over" the bass chair.

    as for what bass and why the particular tone, from reading Bass Player magazine, I know that Cogbill had a cherished old early 60's P bass. a lot of players of that generation used the foam mutes which were stock on Fenders. Cogbill may have been a pick player, too. I don't know (but would love to find out). I seem to recall one picture of Cogbill in Bass Player, when they ran the Respect transcription... was he clutching a pick?... anyone remember? whatever, I LOVE his tone and feel on those records. not as chromatic or busy as Jamerson and Jemmott, but not simplistic either, and seriously grooving. pretty much impeccable, huh? He also did great stuff on Dusty Springfield's "Dusty in Memphis"

    sorry if any or all of this is redundant...