Soulful Detroit Forum: Archives: CAROL KAYE
Top of pageBottom of page   By david, glasgow, scotland ( - on Tuesday, June 04, 2002 - 03:22 pm:

Carol announced on her web site last month that she should have her book out by the end of the year.

She promises that the truth will come out, so this should make for incredibly interesting reading.

Top of pageBottom of page   By soulboy ( - on Tuesday, June 04, 2002 - 03:53 pm:

I reckon it's more than a co-incidence that this book should come now, prior to the Funk brothers film. I still do not believe her claims about playing for motown, along with many others on the forum. Although i respect the work she has done for many other artists.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( - on Tuesday, June 04, 2002 - 03:58 pm:

For some reason, the words "intense" and "scrutiny" spring to mind. More fuel for the ongoing debate, I'm certain.

Top of pageBottom of page   By BassLand ( - on Tuesday, June 04, 2002 - 09:50 pm:


Considering some people on this forum were actually at Motown during the time period in question, I think your remarks about the believe-ability of the claims is understated IMO.

I personally believe such a book will not address her Motown claims as such with anything that has not been heard before (the Beach Boys may be another matter) however, It would be a perfect opportunity to clear up this controversy and give Jamerson his due... I doubt that.

IMO All that has come of this "book" is the announcement that it (the book) is expected sometime later. In short it doesn't physically exist. The Documentary SITSOM is a reality now and it features the real people who were there. BTW I have seen the movie.

I am of the belief that history will state that Ms. Kaye made the claims and James Jamerson made the music. I hope Ms. Kaye is served well by her dicisions in this regard.

"Everybody else can't be wrong"

Things to consider, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Jamerson to it's ranks as it's first bassist and gave him credit for the music.

In box set CDs (notably Motown singles 1959-1971), Motown acknowleged Jamerson's participation.

20+ world class musicians (mostly bassist) honored Jamerson's memory by playing their renditions of HIS basslines from Motown hits in the book SITSOM. Paul McCartney, Anthony Jackson, Basil Fearrington, Jimmy Haslip, Pino Palladino, Marcus Miller, Bob Babbitt, Chuck Rainey, Al McGrier, John Patitucci, Phil Chen, Willie Weeks, Garry Tallent, "Ready" Freddy Washington, Francis Rocco Prestia, Jack Bruce, Will Lee, Nathan Watts, Geddy Lee, John Entwistle, Kenny Aaronson, David Hungate, The Philadelphia International Rhythm Section (maybe Bobby Eli wants to comment) all participated with performances and/or recorded or written comments. Berry Gordy wrote the forword calling Jamerson "the man who revolutionized the artistry of the bass"

The surviving Funk Brothers separately and/or collectively worked on the music in question. I am told that at the Library of Congress showing of SITSOM the question of Kaye's participation in the recordings were brought up and met with laughter by some of the Funk Brothers.

Motown gave permission for the use of most of the songs in question (lead sheets and recordings) to be used in not only the book about James Jamerson but the movie (which honors all the Funk Brothers but shares the name of the book on Jamerson). The movie never even mentions the subject of any L.A. musicians who might have worked for Motown and credits the Funk Brothers with all the music used right in the opening sequence. Ms. Kaye has never (to my knowlege) used Motown copyrighted material (original released recordings or copyrighted sheet music) to substanciate her claim nor has she claimed to work for the credited producers of the music who deny her participation on the records (original released recordings by motown artists, not demos or music recreated for other purposes such as TV shows etc).

Ritchie, intense srutiny are good words with regard to this subject for sure! In any event I say "Bring it on" regarding this alleged book.

Top of pageBottom of page   By soulboy ( - on Wednesday, June 05, 2002 - 10:42 am:


Sorry, if i was trying to be over-diplomatic and inofensive about Mrs Kaye. the reality is that i KNOW she did not participate in them recordings, and NOTHING will convince me otherwise. for the following reasons.
1. Statements by so many ex-motown personnel, as you have already stated.
2. No written documentation to back up the claims
3. Most importantly. the style is completely different to Mrs Kaye's, any regular listener to motown records can hear this.

Top of pageBottom of page   By BassLand ( - on Wednesday, June 05, 2002 - 11:54 am:


No problem, I never saw your post as agreeing that she did the music in question. BTW, I do not view my post(s) as offensive or not diplomatic either. Just observations and opinions which contradict the claims made.

PS sorry for the miss-spelling of Scrutiny in my last post.

Top of pageBottom of page   By fenderpbass66 ( - on Wednesday, June 05, 2002 - 03:05 pm:

Since Carol posted that the person to come up with the name of the new book will get credit and a free copy of the book. Well, her regular flock have been falling down all over the place suggesting book titles to her. She seems to post them all and they are quite amusing. I suggested a title on her site but it seems it didnt get past the moderator. I thought an appropriate title could be in my opinion....STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF JAMERSON

Top of pageBottom of page   By John Lester ( - on Wednesday, June 05, 2002 - 07:34 pm:


I bet that suggestion had as much chance getting publicised as trying to float a lead weight in a bowl of water.

Fenderbass66, that was SO funny

With all the overwhelming resentment for some of the things that Carole is claiming credit for, I can only assume that she must have a real thick skin to not be hurt and upset by it all.

Top of pageBottom of page   By BassLand ( - on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 12:57 am:

Hi John,

As you may know I was personally involved with this issue defending Jamerson's legacy on my website. As mentioned here in SD, I was sued (along with Dr. Licks) for that site. The suit was dropped when Dr. Licks came up with the goods (evidence that no matter what anyone says it was James Jamerson playing bass on those records...) You have no idea the amount of venom spewed my way with regard to this issue. Yet, I do feel vendicated for my efforts and my website dedicated to Jamerson.


Top of pageBottom of page   By John Lester ( - on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 07:37 am:


I sure do know about that site....and you know you have all our support here.

I saw some of those affidavits you got including one from my hero Hank Cosby.......and Brian Holland.......I have to say, what more proof can you get....

Top of pageBottom of page   By BassLand ( - on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 04:37 pm:


Thank you for your support. The funny thing, IMO, is any implied suggestions that people connected with Motown might be less than truthful or remaining silent about her contributions to the lable (Hank Cosby and Brian Holland, as producers of most of the music in question, come to mind since they said that Jamerson was the bassist on the music) and that I and many of her detractors are labled by her as mysoginist (Women haters). As a married man with three daughters and 10 grand daughters, I laugh at that notion. She (at least) once referred to me as a racist!

Then there is the general BIG conspiracy theory. I guess that might be a topic for the book that outlines her Motown experience.

The points of the failed lawsuit were defamation, conspiracy to defame, (they sought $$$), injunctive relief (an attempt to shut my site down), and declaritive relief (The suggestion that I stand on the highest roof top and declare that in fact she did do that music LOL, actually she wanted the court to declare her as the bassist). Titles of specific songs were mentioned right in the complaint. MY answer to the suit was to make my site stronger by presenting more of the overwhelming body of evidence that the music in question was in fact made in Detroit and not Hollywood. The affidavits of the late Hank Cosby (whom I spoke to personally on the subject of I Was Made To Love Her) and Brian Holland (whom I have never met) were provided by Dr. Licks as part of his research into the matter. I have an admiration for Allan Slutsy's efforts on behalf of Motown musicians that I cannot find words to describe. I sat in the DGA theatre with a Student of mine Valente, and my then 7 month pregnant daughter who has since given me a wonderful grandson (my third on top of the aforementioned grand daughters) in tears at getting the first glimpse of the people responsible for me becoming a musician. That glimps provided the visual part of something that I have wondered about a long time. It was like being Stevie Wonder and finally being able to "see" while it did not white wash their faults I think they absolutely were my musical role models. It gave a very concise account of their history and accomplishments. FOr me it was akin to watching Ken Burns' JAZZ series (although much was know about most of the major stars of JAZZ before this series). Mr. Burns' film seemed to put it all together and that is how I saw the movie SITSOM.

I believe Ms. Kaye has been invited to come here and state her case (Which I think will never happen). She has her own website where she heavily moderates it's content.

Top of pageBottom of page   By john lester ( - on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 04:50 pm:

Bob.....I always say what goes around comes around....people who say untruths get paid back....

The tide of opinion is now so overwhelming in favour of Jamerson that Carole's once excellent and untarnished reputation is taking a bit of a bashing - sadly that is now worldwide and not just in the USA. THAT cannot be a good thing for her and it is sad that it has happened cos at the end of the day, she IS a very accomplished musician.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Bob Olhsson ( - on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 04:55 pm:

FWIW controversy is always an excellent way to sell a book...

People have always been taking swipes at Motown. The film is a giant step towards setting the record straight. The real behind the scenes story of the company would make another great movie. Hopefully somebody will write it while the people who can tell it are still alive.

Top of pageBottom of page   By fenderpbass66 ( - on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 05:49 pm:

Should the book titled STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF JAMERSON be published, I am sure the author will include a photo of the actual bassplayer of Bernadette, I Was Made to Love Her, etc., would show the true identity of the innovative genius who in fact, played those lines.

Top of pageBottom of page   By mhcrenshaw ( - on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 12:23 am:

I used to give her the benefit of the doubt until fairly recently when I picked up some CDs by the great producer/composer David Axelrod. This stuff is really beautiful late '60s West Coast funk/Jazz with heavy orchestration. Carol Kaye is the credited bassist (with the great Earl Palmer on drums) and you can clearly hear her sound and approach in a funk/R&B context, pick and all. After hearing this, the truth is clear; there's no way on the face of the Earth that she ever played on a Motown record. A good musician like her isn't going to suddenly cease to sound like herself and turn into somebody else; nobody's that "versatile". So now the question in my mind, and I find it an intriguing one, is Why Did She Start This Stuff in the First Place? Why would she vehemently claim to be responsible for somebody else's work, then sling around words like 'racist' and 'sexist' whenever someone questions her claims, which she herself knows to be false? She must have a perverse sense of humor, not to mention various other "issues"..
BTW, I just discovered this forum and am digging it to death. What a great group of folks.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( - on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 12:29 am:

Welcome to the forum mhcrenshaw. Yeah, Carol's intentions are a mystery to all of us.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Millie ( - on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 12:52 am:

Dear mhcrenshaw, are you really Marshall Crenshaw?

Top of pageBottom of page   By fenderpbass66 ( - on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 02:07 am:

Mhcrenshaw, Ralph and all others,
Personally, Carol's accomplishments are quite extensive and worthy of respect. I cannot comment on a persons' motivation to try to plagerize someone elses work. Anyone with ears can tell the difference between James Jamerson and any other bass player. His lines "drip" with Jamerson. His sound, feel, soul and spirit cannot be written out on a chart and played by any Tom, Dick and Carol.
Hell, Jamerson didnt know what he was gonna do till he did it. I thouroghly enjoy tunes like for example, MY MISTAKE, done by Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross. Jamerson flubs up on certain parts but recovers and it sounds like he meant to play it that way. GENIUS Alan Slutsky made a great comment, and I paraphrase....If the Lady from the West Coast did actually play bass on all the songs she claims to have, he would not have written SITSOM, he would have instead, written a book about her.
I did attend the premier screening on the SITSOM movie last December 14 @ Washington D.C. When the movie was over, a question and answer session was held by the Funk Bros and Slutsky. A member of the audience did pose the question if Carol did play on all she claims. There was no answer from any of them as they were all laughing.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Gary Rosen ( - on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 08:20 pm:

When I started playing bass in the early '70s I mostly taught myself using Ms. Kaye's books which had just come out. They were much hipper than the old Mel Bay kind of stuff (in no small measure because they used Jamerson's bass parts :^)). Like many others I found this controversy confusing at first but there is no question now that Dr. Licks has brought out the truth of the matter as displayed on Bob's great web site devoted to Jamerson.

I have looked back at these books and the discrepancies strongly suggest that she was recording remakes of the songs (as it was known Motown was doing in LA at the time) rather than the original hits. There are wrong dates and in some cases even different artists ("Bernadette" by the Supremes!). And as mhcrenshaw notes, if you listen to the recordings you know she *did* play on, you know there is no way she played those great Motown hits. I have the Beach Boys' version of "I Was Made To Love Her" and she just can't match the original in tone, feel, or dexterity.

- Gary Rosen

Top of pageBottom of page   By Bradburger ( - on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 11:50 pm:

I've always been more than a little puzzled by Carol Kaye's claims as to what Motown tracks she played on. Wanting to learn a bit more about her I visited her website for the first time yesterday. Looking at the bass hits page which has an impressive list of recordings she participated in I nearly fell of my chair when I saw the Motown hits she claims to have played bass on.

Bernadette, IWMTLH, Get Ready, I Can't Help Myself & a whole bunch of Supremes hits to name a few. To add insult to injury she even has sound samples you can download of Bernadette & IWMTLH!!! (Her forum even had someone thanking her for playing on "those hits by Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, Temptations,Supremes etc"!!!!!)

Now I've heard all about her claims to these songs before but I was suprised to see that she has actually listed them and included sound samples. This in my opinion is a big mistake.

Listening to the other samples she has posted it is blatantly obvious when listening to the samples of the above mentioned recordings that it was not her. She is obviously a good bassist but her style and feel are as distant from Jamerson as Detroit is from London. I don't think you have to be a musician or a genius to tell the difference between her lines and those of the master.

I mean listen to the Good Vibrations or the Mission Impossible sample then to Bernadette or IWMTLH. It's like chalk and cheese! The only Motown song she lists that I think she may of played on is Brenda Holloway's You've Made Me So Very Happy. I'm listening to it as I type and it is definitely an L.A recording. The bass sounds as if it is played with a pick so it could well be her. But it is nothing like the style of any of the above mentioned recordings.

Personally I find her claims laughable and it for me it somewhat tarnishes her reputation as a musician. It makes me wonder if the other non-Motown recordings she lays claim to where actually her.



Top of pageBottom of page   By john coe ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 05:47 am:

It appears to me that the list of credits have been growing. I haven't checked her site in about 6 months but I'm sure You Can't Hurry Love or Baby Love wasn't listed then, I would have remembered. The Supremes "Baby Love" is interesting as now the Motown credits on her site go all the way back to 1964. Some other interesting claims: The Rhino Monkees "Greatest Hits" has a rather extensive list of musician credits as well as studios and dates. Out of 20 songs on the CD the only recording lacking significant credits was I'm A Believer, listed as "personnel unknown". The studio location was given as NEW YORK, and produced by Jeff Barry. I recalled that "I'm A Believer" was listed as one of her bass hits, which I always thought a weird or convenient coincidence. I just doubled checked and she now lists "Last Train To Clarksville and others" as well as "I'm A Believer". Rhino credits Larry Taylor as the bassist on "Clarksville". She also added "Light My Fire" by the Doors! I always thought that was a Fender-Rhodes "Shorty" not a Fender Precision.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Gary Rosen ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 08:26 am:

Her claims to have been playing on 1964 Motown hits are particularly interesting since in her old instruction books (issued in early '70s so much closer to the actual time) she says she didn't start playing bass until 1965, having converted from guitar. The Doors did not credit a bass player on their first album with LMF but I'll have to listen to the song again to hear whether it sounds like a bass or Rhodes (the band did not have a regular bass player at that time). Later albums credited Doug Lubahn on bass.

In a Bass Player interview a few years ago she had some unkind things to say about the "Wrecking Crew". This was the great LA session rhythm session consisting of drummer Hal Blaine, bassist Joe Osborne and keyboardist Larry Knechtel. They played on a great many LA records (Byrds, Mamas & Papas, Grass Roots, 3 Dog Night etc.) and I suspect have many more pop hit credits than Kaye, who spent a lot of time doing movies, TV shows, jingles and the like because she was a great sight reader. My own suspicion is that she felt the need to "pad" her resume in order to make her instruction books more attractive.

- Gary Rosen

Top of pageBottom of page   By soulboy ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 12:19 pm:

Are there any more examples of people claiming they played for Motown during the Detroit days??
It suprises myself that this is the only case, because for years the funk brothers were virtualy unknown. Also there is the fact that there is very little 'written' evidence or documentation available about who played what on any given track.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 02:09 pm:

After examining Ms. Kayes web site, I found it odd that Motown Studio A was not on the list of recording studios she has worked at.The very studio where the hits she claims to have played on were produced. Am I missing something here?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 02:15 pm:

Ralph -

Only if "missing something" equates to "hitting the nail on the head" ;o)

Top of pageBottom of page   By mhcrenshaw ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 03:12 pm:

hi Millie, Yeah it's me (Marshall Crenshaw).. Usually when I post something on a website bulletin board I do it anonymously, but this board is so seriously For Real, and deals with stuff that's so close to my heart, that using an alias or a subterfuge here would feel inappropriate. Cheers....

Top of pageBottom of page   By Millie ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 03:18 pm:

Hi Marshall!
Where are you these days...are you still in Michigan? I think we met just once when 93.9 The River was still on the a promotion or something. What are you up to? How would you like to get involved in the massive musician's reunion we're planning? It'll be in May when David (our creator) comes to town...I'm working with Dennis Coffee and George Katsakis and a few others, but could certainly use your input! If you're in town, please let me know. E-mail address is above. Looking forward to hearing from you! Oh...welcome to the site!!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By fenderpbass66 ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 03:22 pm:

Good to see you Marshall. I thouroughly enjoyed your piece published in Rolling Stone Magazine regarding James Jamerson.
Im also happy to see a lot of Soulful Detroiters going over to the site on the "West Coast". The more scrutinizing eyes there the better. There is a claim there that takes credit for playing bass on The Temptations (I Second That Emotion). Stupid me, all this time I thought Smokey Robinson did that one.

Top of pageBottom of page   By phillysoulman ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 03:29 pm:

Hi Marshall.
Welcome indeed. We Philly musos have always enjoyed your musical output throughout the years.
Keep on keepin' on mate!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Millie ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 03:31 pm:

Gee looks like I've blown your cover!! But, why deprive others of your presence? Sounds like we're all excited that you're here!


Top of pageBottom of page   By Bob Olhsson ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 04:00 pm:

I'm sure part of "why" is related to a series of books she published during the early 1970s that included the bass lines from a lot of hit records.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 04:00 pm:


I too just took a mosey round the West Coast corral, but it wasn't really to my taste. My preferred reading matter is Non-Fiction.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 04:07 pm:

Yeah Ritchie,
The site is a little too self-serving for my tastes.

Top of pageBottom of page   By mhcrenshaw ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 09:03 pm:

I don't want to keep posting on this thread and keeping the name 'Carol Kaye' at the top of the Motown discussion page, but I've gotta say thanks so much 'phillysoulman' (Bobby) for the good words; I really appreciate a compliment from you. Philly's a great place and I admire anybody who's contributed to the amazing records that have come from there, as you certainly have. And thanks to you also fenderpbass66. Millie, I can't send you an e-mail today (I'm on one of those hotel room TV screen/internet things), but I've put my correct e-mail address with my postings. If there's anything that you think I could contribute to the Reunion, let me know. Cheers, MC

Top of pageBottom of page   By Millie ( - on Saturday, June 08, 2002 - 10:12 pm:

Marshall, are you still in the Detroit area? If you are, call me...I work for radio station 89X. I really would like to talk with you. Thanks.

Top of pageBottom of page   By detroit gal ( - on Sunday, June 09, 2002 - 04:16 am:

Marshall hasn't lived in D-town for a while.

But here's a Did You Know for ya: his mom taught me typing in high school.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Lincoln (David) ( - on Thursday, June 13, 2002 - 03:31 pm:

I do not feel comfortable with this thread being closed.

It is therefore re-opened.

Please, however, respect the quality that the forum possesses and abide by our conditions.

My final act as moderator.