Uriel Jones, a drummer who fueled numerous classic Motown hits, has passed away. He died at Oakwood Hospital Tuesday afternoon (March 24) following complications from a heart attack. He was 74 years old.
Uriel was part of Motown studio band known as The Funk Brothers. He played on hits such as My Girl by the Temptations, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I\'m Yours by Stevie Wonder, What Becomes of the Brokenhearted by Jimmy Ruffin, and versions of I Heard It Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight and the Pips.
Uriel Jones joined Motown\'s house band after the label\'s first studio drummer, Benny Benjamin, struggled with a drug and alcohol addiction. So Uriel and fellow Funk Brothers Richard \"Pistol\" Allen performed more and more of the drum tracks for the studio\'s releases.
Until shortly before his death, Uriel Jones often played with the surviving Funk Brothers, who were the focus of an acclaimed 2002 documentary film called Standing in the Shadows of Motown.
That film brought Uriel Jones and the other players belated recognition in the wider world that largely escaped them in Motown\'s 1960s and early \'70s heyday.
Uriel is survived by his wife June and three children, as well as seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.