|Birth: ||Nov. 26, 1937|
|Death: ||Jul. 16, 2012|
Musician. Best known as a member of Motown's famed studio band The Funk Brothers. Born Robert Kreiner to parents of Hungarian descent, he was exposed to and initially influenced by heavy doses of Gypsy music often played in his household. By his teenage years, R&B took over as his main interest and he soon mastered the electric Fender bass guitar and found himself performing in area nightclubs. He set out to broaden his horizons and embarked upon Detroit finding work in the construction industry while continuing to play in clubs. His break came when he joined the music ensemble the Royaltones which led to his career as a recording artist as he contributed to a number of albums. In 1965, he accompanied Del Shannon on a tour and contributed to The Capitols 1966 hit "Cool Jerk". He was discovered by Motown Records following his live performances with Stevie Wonder which led to his musical talents being applied to the hits "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" (1970) and Smokey Robinson's "Tears of a Clown" (1970), becoming a part of Motown's The Funk Brothers. Babbitt would next leave his musical imprint on Marvin Gaye's monumental hits "Mercy Mercy Me" (1971) and "Inner City Blues" (1971), in addition to the Gladys Knight and the Pips' chart topper "Midnight Train to Georgia" (1973) after the group signed with the Buddah record label. The next phase of his career happened in 1973, when he moved to New York to collaborate with producer Arif Mardin on material for Barry Manilow. During this period, not only was Babbitt able to work with a wider range of artists, he was able to display his versatility in varied genres. He was in high demand and worked with such artists as Jim Croce, Frank Sinatra and Engelbert Humperdink. Babbitt's reputation brought him to Philadelphia for a collaboration with producer Thom Bell on a string of hits by The Spinners including "The Came You" (1974),"Games People Play" (1975) and "Rubberband Man" (1976). During the mid-1980s with music styles changing, he settled in Nashville where he remained active as a sessions musician. During the course of his career, Babbitt received or shared roughly 25 gold and platinum records. He died of complications from brain cancer. (bio by: C.S.)
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: C.S.
Record added: Jul 16, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 93709246