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"Standing in the Shadows of Motown", is the documentary film that tells the story of Motown's legendary studio band, the Funk Brothers. The Funk Brothers were a relatively unknown group of musicians who have played on as many No. 1 one hits as the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis and the Beatles combined!!

12/14/2001 The Music Division of the Library of Congress
Presents the first preview showing of "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" a documentary film as part of "I Hear America Singing," a major initiative to celebrate this nation's rich musical heritage.
12/16/02 WINS BEST DOCUMENTARY. -- New York Film Critics Circle
10/12/03 Funk Brothers Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

2/3/03   45th & 46th ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARD WINNERS

2004 Funk Brothers Win the Lifetime Achievement Award



THE IDEA: * About Allan Slutsky Producer, Author, Musician, Producer, and Grammy Winner

This film is based on a book of the same title by Mr. Allan Slutsky that won the 1989 Rolling Stone/BMI Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award.
Mr. Slutsky a New Jersey-based musician, author, and movie producer who worked for 14 years in putting together the movie, told me that after a theatrical run, the film will go to cable and then be released on tape and DVD.
The documentary movie has already played in Los Angeles for a week in December 2001 in order to qualify for next year's Academy Awards, but that its official world premiere will be in Detroit in January or February of 2002.
Produced by Paul Elliott and David Scott, Executive Producers Allan Slutsky, Paul Justman, Sandy Passman and Karen Ellis Founder and CEO of this site the Educational CyberPlayGround.

"Standing In the Shadows of Motown" First Movie Screening at the Library of Congress. The Funk Brothers gathered in Detroit last November 2000 for filming. They were: Bob Babbitt, Richard ''Pistol'' Allen, Jack Ashford, Uriel Jones, Joe Hunter, Eddie Willis, Joe Messina and Johnny Griffin.

Special Thanks To: seen at the end of the movie. See Video Excerpts
Special Thanks To Karen Ellis

My friends, Allan Slutsky and the Funk Brothers, were celebrated with two grammys at the awards show Feb. 23, 2003 for "Standing In The Shadows of Motown".
This February 2004 the dream was fulfilled when The Funk Brothers won their long overdue Lifetime Achievement Awards, and it felt great! After years of playing music as the studio band for Motown records in virtual anonymity, they received their long overdue acknowledgement as an important part of rock and roll history. I am proud to be part of the production of this movie about their lives.
To help share the importance of these people, and motivate students to pursue their dreams I have created the "Standing In The Shadows of Motown" Funk Brothers Webquest

Allan Slutsky and Carla Benson both helped me out with my project called the National Children's Folksong Repository where we can document more unknown culture makers like The Funks. You can help preserve and celebrate the Oral Tradition of America when you contribute folksongs and playground game songs to the online archive. Find out how you can help.

2001 The Music Division of the Library of Congress will present a preview showing of "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" a documentary film from the Rimshot LLC production company on December 14th, 2001 as part of "I Hear America Singing," a major initiative to celebrate this nation's rich musical heritage. The Funk Brothers were a relatively unknown group of musicians who have played on as many No. 1 one hits as the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis and the Beatles combined.
"Standing in the Shadows of Motown" was shot entirely on location in Detroit from December 2000 through January 2001, directed by Paul Justman, a veteran of music videos and music-themed documentaries, Allan Slutsky, and Sandy Passman, executive producers Paul Elliott and David Scott. Using the '60s as a backdrop, Motown's unsung heroes take the viewer on a compelling journey in time as they trace the evolution of "The Motown Sound" from its origins in Detroit to its demise in Los Angeles during the '70s.
In 1959, Berry Gordy gathered the best musicians from Detroit's jazz and blues scene to cut songs for his new record company. The Funk Brothers were the house band and the heartbeat on "My Girl," "Bernadette," "I Was Made to Love Her," and every other hit from Motown's Detroit era.
This excellent film depicts Motown's back story, the tales of the talented jazz-bred musicians who created the intricate, rhythm-heavy Motown sound surrounding the voices of stars such as Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder and many others. I the movie you hear them playing with singers Chaka Khan, D'Angelo, Ben Harper, and Me'Shell NdegeOcello to do songs such as "Cloud Nine" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."
Actor Andre Braugher, narrarates the one hour, 56-minute documentary tells the Funk Brothers' saga through archival footage and still photos, narration, interviews, re-creation scenes, 20 Motown master tracks, and 12 new live performances of Motown classics with the Funk Brothers backing up Chaka Kahn, Ben Harper, Bootsy Collins, Montell Jordan, Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne and Gerald Levert. Allan Slutsky plays White's guitar part in the mix.



Music Teacher and Educational CyberPlayGround Ringleader is currently singing for MFSB Philadelphia International. See Videos


Additional Background Vocalists

Jack Ashford - Vibes and Percussion
Birthday 5/18/03

Eddie Willis - Guitar

Joe Messina - Guitar

Bob Babbitt - Bass

Richard Pistol Allen - Drums

Uriel Jones - Drums

Johnny Griffith - Keyboards

Joe Hunter - Keyboards



Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003

Karen thanks for everything we really appreciate all that you are about.

Jack Ashford funkbrothers


Date: Tue, 07 Jan 2003
From: Joe Messina

Hello Karen..
Your site is fantastic..

Thanks .....


(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave – Joan Osborne

You've Really Got A Hold On Me – Meshell Ndegeocello

Do You Love Me – Bootsy Collins
Bernadette (instrumental) – The Funk Brothers
Reach Out I'll Be There – Gerald Levert
Ain't Too Proud To Beg – Ben Harper
Shotgun – Gerald Levert featuring Tom Scott
What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted – Joan Osborne
I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Ben Harper
You Keep Me Hanging On (instrumental) – The Funk Brothers
Cool Jerk – Bootsy Collins
Cloud Nine – Meshell Ndegeocello
What's Going On – Chaka Kahn
Band Introduction / Ain't No Mountain High Enough – CHAKA KAHN & Montell Jordan
The Flick – Earl Van Dyke


1/04 LONDON'S ROYAL ALBERT HALL BBC INTERVIEW with Joe Messina, Jack Ashford

NPR Terry Gross Nov. 18, 2002 Musicians Joe Hunter and Jack Ashford - were part of the group of musicians known as the Funk Brothers whose sound defined Motown in the 1960s and 70s. They worked with such legendary performers as Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, The Miracles and many more. The Funk Brothers are the subject of the new documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown.

Nov 19, 2002 Motown Backup Band, The Funk Brothers Tavis Smiley interviews two members of the legendary Motown House Band, The Funk Brothers, frontman and percussionist Jack Ashford and keyboardist Joe Hunter.

The Connection - Dick Gordon Do you know the musicians behind the music of the greatest hit machine of modern music? Jack Ashford, Joe Hunter, Allan Slutsky

Motown: The Golden Years; More than 100 rare photographs

Where was this music originally created and Recorded? The Motown Historical Museum - A Guided Tour By Robert Dennis, Former Mastering Supervisor, Motown Records

USA Today - Motown Funk Brothers cast long 'Shadows'