Uriel Jones, drummer
The Funk Brothers

Uriel Jones

June 13, 1934, Detroit, MI ~ March 24, 2009, Dearborn, MI

Uriel was an indispensable component of producer Norman Whitfield's “psychedelic soul” recordings with the Temptations, and Ashford and Simpson's Marvin Gaye-Tammi Terrell duets were all fueled by his slammin' drum grooves. Joined at the hip with Earl Van Dyke for the next three decades, Uriel was the main drummer when the Funk Brothers performed at the Chit Chat club, the Twenty Grand, and the other venues they frequented during Detroit's booming nightlife scene of the '60s. ~ Standing In The Shadows Of Motown: Funk Brothers ~ retrieved July 23, 2015 © Standing In The Shadows Of Motown

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June 13, 1981 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (4) A Taste Of Honey, Sukiyaki ~ #2 (3) Stars On 45, Stars On 45 Medley ~ #1 (1) Kim Carnes, Bette Davis Eyes


Jones was born in Detroit and, throughout his life, gave credit to music for saving him. He was sent to the city's Moore school for boys, a disciplinary institution, and it was there that he began playing drums. He realised that his aptitude offered him a valuable opportunity, and he stuck to his task diligently enough to land a job in Gaye's touring band. Motown's founder, Berry Gordy, spotted Gaye singing in a Detroit club in 1961 and offered him a solo deal with the label. Jones's connection with Gaye led to him being drafted into the Funk Brothers squad that Gordy had begun to assemble in 1959. They were originally dubbed the Funky Brothers by the radio DJ Martha Jean “the Queen” Steinberg. Jones recalled: "We had gigs at the Chit Chat Lounge [a Detroit club] where she was MC. After a couple of nights, she decided Funky Brothers didn't sound good and called us the Funk Brothers. It stuck after that." ~ The Guardian: Uriel Jones Obituary ~ March 26, 2009 © The Guardian

As a Session musician, guest or band member

Marvin Gaye ~ Let's Get It On (1973) ~ Ranked #165 Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time in 2012 ~ It’s some of the most gorgeous music he ever made, resplendent with sweet strings and his clear-throated crooning. ~ 2012 © Rolling Stone

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