Louis 'Thunder Thumbs' Johnson
May 23, 2015 2:26 PM   Subscribe

R.I.P. Louis Johnson, great funk bass player. Founding member of funk group Brothers Johnson and legendary bassist Louis Johnson died too young at the age of 60.

The Brothers Johnson's first #1 hit, from 1976: I'll Be Good to You

From the same Quincy Jones produced album, Looking Out For #1:
Get the Funk Out Ma Face


Bass solo from 1980

Louis Johnson invented the bass part for Billie Jean, and here he jams on it with students in the Netherlands
posted by maggiemaggie (24 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Their version of Strawberry Letter 23 is such a jam.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:52 PM on May 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


23skidoo - you beat me to it. I have loved Strawberry Letter 23 since I first heard it on the radio as a teenager.
posted by wittgenstein at 3:02 PM on May 23, 2015


You Make Me Wanna Wiggle” is one of my favorite running/dancing songs ever.

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posted by activitystory at 3:06 PM on May 23, 2015


Yes, even if you are familiar with Shuggie Otis' original, the Brothers Johnson version of Strawberry Letter 23 is the version that hit the charts and the one most people remember. In either version it's a great song.
posted by Nerd of the North at 3:08 PM on May 23, 2015


Get The Funk Out Ma Face - I first found out about these guys from a random vinyl purchase but it was a good one.

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posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:25 PM on May 23, 2015


Slap bass is one of those "many were called, but few were chosen" things. Johnson was one of the pioneers, and his place in the history of great bass players is secure.
posted by thelonius at 3:30 PM on May 23, 2015


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posted by Renoroc at 3:34 PM on May 23, 2015


I've played Billie Jean so many times & made so many packed-out dance floors happy, I owe this man a huge debt of gratitude. Some songs you wear out on, but that one, when you're locked in with a good drummer, it never gets old. Godspeed, sir.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:47 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


My favorite of theirs is Stomp! Can't help but move to it.
posted by vespabelle at 3:55 PM on May 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by Wolof at 4:10 PM on May 23, 2015


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posted by evilDoug at 4:22 PM on May 23, 2015



posted by Katjusa Roquette at 4:47 PM on May 23, 2015


Another great player is gone. I remember him well.


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posted by Seekerofsplendor at 4:53 PM on May 23, 2015


Brothers J was the answer to my old soul/funk earworm AskMe.
posted by ovvl at 4:54 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Brothers Johnson were good to me, good to me. I rarely saw much that was seriously funky on the "A&M" label (home of Herb Alpert, Burt Bacharach, Sérgio Mendes, Carpenters, Captain & Tennille)... except Billy Preston on his good days. And the single for "Strawberry Letter 23" was on strawberry-red vinyl.

goodbye, Thunder Thumbs 👍👍
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:10 PM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by mrgoat at 5:20 PM on May 23, 2015


RIP. The Brothers Johnson did some fine work.
posted by jonmc at 5:37 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by Halloween Jack at 6:12 PM on May 23, 2015


"I'll Be Good To You" is always in heavy rotation on my ipod. Nothing like it.

Also, the dialogue and segue into "Strawberry Letter 23" from "Jackie Brown" remains one of my most favorite movie moments.

Love me some Brothers Johnson. RIP Louis...
posted by sundrop at 6:41 PM on May 23, 2015



posted by Smart Dalek at 6:56 PM on May 23, 2015


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posted by clvrmnky at 6:28 AM on May 24, 2015


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posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:49 AM on May 24, 2015


First time I heard "Get the Funk..." was at the old Luigi dance studio on Broadway. A great combination of music and setting and a lovely association to remember. Thank you.

aav.

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posted by the sobsister at 6:42 PM on May 24, 2015


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posted by On the Corner at 1:15 AM on May 26, 2015


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