Are you ready to get your groove on? The 9th annual Detroit Bass Day, created by legendary Detroit bassist Kern Brantley, returned this year, but not just to celebrate Detroit’s catalog of great bass players. This year the annual celebration also honored the 50th recording anniversary of the Grammy-Award winning song “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone,” made famous by The Temptations, with fifty bass players coming together in front of the Motown Museum to play its iconic bass line. 

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Detroit Bass Day also used the celebration of The Temptations’ song as a way to talk about some of the deeper themes in the song itself about family life and fatherhood. The University of Michigan partnered with the annual celebration to create the “Papa Was Project,” which brought spoken word artists to the annual festival this year to perform alongside the music. 

Producer Daijah Moss visits Detroit Bass Day and talks with Samuel Donald, president and founder of Detroit Musix, and Emily Rogers, a local producer and bass player, to learn more about the annual gathering of bass players. Plus, she talks to University of Michigan School of Social Work Professor Richard Tolman, the leader of the  “Papa Was Project” to understand how the project is helping fathers talk about their challenges and support other fathers in the community. 

Detroit Bass Day

Several Southeast Michigan bass players and music enthusiasts gathered at the Motown Museum in Detroit for the 9th annual Detroit Bass Day celebrating the 50th recording anniversary of “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” made famous by The Temptations. | Photo by One Detroit

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