Earl Van Dyke & the Soul Brothers - That Motown Sound

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Earl Van Dyke
Earl Van Dyke.jpg
Background information
Born July 8, 1930
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Died September 18, 1992 (aged 62)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Genres Soul, R&B
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Keyboards
Labels Blue Note, Motown
Associated acts The Funk Brothers


  Earl Van Dyke (July 8, 1930 – September 18, 1992) was an African American soul musician, most notable as the main keyboardist for Motown Records' in-house Funk Brothers band during the late 1960s and early 1970s.



Van Dyke, who was born in Detroit, Michigan, United States, was preceded as keyboardist and bandleader of the Funk Brothers by Joe Hunter. In the early 1960s, he also recorded as a jazz organist with saxophonists Fred Jackson and Ike Quebec for the Blue Note label.

Besides his work as the session keyboardist on Motown hits such as "Bernadette" by The Four Tops, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye, and "Run Away Child, Running Wild" by The Temptations, Van Dyke performed with a small band as an opening act for several Motown artists, and released instrumental singles and albums himself. Several of Van Dyke's recordings feature him playing keys over the original instrumental tracks for Motown hits; others are complete covers of Motown songs.

His 1967 hit "6 by 6" is a much-loved stomper on the Northern soul music scene.

Van Dyke played the Steinway grand piano, the Hammond B-3 organ, the Wurlitzer, the Fender Rhodes, and the celeste and harpsichord. He played a toy piano for the introduction of the Temptations' hit, "It's Growing".




Soul (Motown) releases
  • 1964: "Soul Stomp"
  • 1965: "All For You"*
  • 1965: "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)"*
  • 1965: "The Flick (Part II)"*
  • 1967: "6 By 6"**
  • 1969: "Run Away Child, Running Wild"

(*) billed as "Earl Van Dyke & the Soul Brothers" (the billed name of the Funk Brothers band was changed by Motown head Berry Gordy, as he disliked the connotation of the word "funk")

(**) billed as "Earl Van Dyke & the Motown Brass"



Soul (Motown) releases
  • 1965: That Motown Sound (Earl Van Dyke & the Soul Brothers)
  • 1970: The Earl of Funk (Earl Van Dyke Live)




Earl Van Dyke - That Motown Sound

U.S. Motown MS 631 (H-1354) (1965).

Album produced by Stevenson, Cosby and Fuqua.

The vinyl record attains a strong excellent grading, suggesting few plays.

Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.

Both record centre labels are clean and unmarked.

The album cover is in excellent condition, displaying only minimal signs of wear.

The album cover has a strong, undamaged spine, displaying very clear, printed script.

The album comes with a generic, plain white, paper inner sleeve.

For full track listing see Own tab.

Browse this category: Funk-Soul & Motown Albums