RIP Uriel Jones


Senior Member
Motown drummer Uriel Jones dies in Michigan
12 hours ago

Motown drummer Uriel Jones, whose hard-driving funk propelled classic tunes by the Temptations and Marvin Gaye, died in a Michigan hospital on Tuesday after suffering complications from a heart attack, a family member said. He was 74.

Jones, the last surviving drummer in the Motown session band known as the Funk Brothers, was stricken in mid-February but had been showing signs of improvement, said his sister-in-law Leslie Coleman. He relapsed last Tuesday, and died at Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center in Dearborn, she told Reuters.

He was a key component of the "psychedelic soul" foray by the Temptations, including "Cloud Nine" and "I Can't Get Next to You," and brought a party feel to their earlier hit "Ain't Too Proud To Beg."

But Jones also applied a sensitive touch to such ballads as "The Tracks of My Tears," by The Miracles, and "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted," by Jimmy Ruffin.

Jones came to Motown in 1964 after touring with Gaye, and recorded for Motown's enfant terrible on "Ain't That Peculiar," "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."


I cannot possibly thank Uriel enough for the incalculable contributions he has made to music.

R.I.P. Mr. Jones, you have more than earned it!


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
After watching Standing in The Shadows of Motown many times this really hurts. The end of a great band and a great legacy that will never be repeated. They were the backup band for more bands than I can name. Really sad.

michael drums

Condolences to his family and friends. Uriel Jones was certainly an integral part of the music scene of the 60's and 70's, as an accomplished session drummer.

There "ain't no mountain high enough", to keep us from appreciating what you gave to us, Mr. Jones.

Thanks for your contributions to the drumming community.



Platinum Member
If any of you have a chance check out the DVD Standing in the Shadows of Motown. It is a great movie IMO.

Very sad news.


I am saddened to hear of the loss of another "Funk Brother"...
However I am grateful for all the joy they have brought us over the years.

criz p. critter

Silver Member
I remember hearing all that Motown stuff when it first came out, and it was always so original, and such an inspiration to me. English invasion bands and Motown were my favorites back in the 60s and early 70s. But I never knew about the Funk Brothers until seeing "Standing in the Shadows." I had mixed emotions seeing it: Excitement, because I got to go behind the scenes with the musicians, hear all the great stories, see the archival pics of them working in the "snakepit". But sadness too, because they were all pretty much passed over and forgotten (or dead!) at that point. And they weren't treated very fairly back when it was all going down, anyway. But it was really great that they had the opportunity to come out for one last show with all the younger stars that had been influenced by them, to be recognized at last for their talent and originality.

So yes, rest in peace Uriel. You are gone, but your work will be played and admired forever.

Mr. Compactness

Senior Member
I'm saddened to see that despite the much needed recognition the Funk Brothers got in Standing in the Shadows... even in death he hasn't gotten the full respect he fully deserved. I just found out about this today.

He was the last of the Funk Brother Drummers. Benny Benjamin, Richard "Pistol" Allen and now Uriel..all gone.

It's a shame that none of them have their own page on Drummerworld. Benny and Richard are on the wishlist, hopefully the three of them could get recognition here some day.


Senior Member
Terrible loss to music. Under-appreciated to say the least.

Does anyone know a good place to look for a comprehensive guide to who played Drums on which Motown track? I was sure Benny Benjamin played Drums on 'Tracks of My Tears'...