Chuck Jacobs – Bassist | Author | Producer

 

Chuck Jacobs, (born 11 November 1949 in Petoskey, Mi (USA) is a bass guitarist of from a very musical family, learning piano from his piano playing mother by age 5, and surrounded by jam sessions in the Jacobs’ home from an early age.  Jacobs rose to public notice primarily playing rock, blues rock, and R&B music, becoming a sought-after live performance bassist around Michigan and the midwest with rock & R&B bands of the 60s and 70s. Throughout his career, his playing earned him the privilege of helping to design basses with various guitar companies in addition to the honor of designing a signature bass – The Chuck Jacobs model – for Heritage Guitars. He has belonged to several bands and currently is best known as the bassist with Kenny Rogers.

 

Kenny Rogers, from his book “Luck or Something Like It: Chuck Jacobs is a bass player’s bass player. He’s been with me over thirty-three years and never missed a show. He played a lot around New York and played with Wayne Cochran, so he has had a lot of musical influences. He knows how to play each genre, and he lets each retain its integrity.

 

Author: Jacobs’ book “The Bottom Line” Cherry Lane (1984) was a great success and featured a somewhat different approach from the normal music. Instruction book. 

Instead of a “how-to” book on bass, this was more of a “why-you-play-bass” take on the subject of the bass, and included essays on the core concept, defining “the roll of a bass player in a group” as well as tips and exercises, not so much for the beginning bassist, but for those who already play bass.

In addition, Jacobs featured interviews with some of the top bass players in the world, including Jaco Pastorius, Lee Sklar, Verdine White and many others. Plans are in the works to update this work with new interviews of current bassists and this will be published in the near future.

 

Performed with: As a bassist, Jacobs worked regularly in the studios of Nashville from 79 – 89 before moving to the Los Angeles area where he has lived for more than 20 years.

Through his career Jacobs has played with many different artists on TV, live or in the studio, including, Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Alison Kraus, Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson, Mel Tillis, Garth Brooks, Wynona Judd, Linda Davis, Phil Vasser, Ray Charles, Reba McEntire, Kenny Loggins, Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, Gladys Knight, Bill Medley, Crystal Gayle, The Oak Ridge Boys, George Burns, Mac Davis, Kim Carnes, The Righteous Brothers, Sheena Easton, Patty Loveless, The Smothers Brothers, Dottie West, Al Hirt, Holly Dunn, Mark Chesnut, The Forester Sisters, Gallagher, T. Graham Brown, Colin Raye, Billy Dean, Janie Frickie, Holly Dunn, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Shelby Lynn, Wayne Cochran & the CC Riders, Hank Ballard, Little Johnny Taylor.

 

Producer: Jacobs also has distinguished himself as a producer, producing country acts in Nashville, as well as easy-listening instrumental CDs in Los Angeles for Simplicity Records, which he co-owns with his brother Dan Jacobs, producing, and mixing over 30 albums. 

 

Early Work

Jacobs began playing electric guitar at age ten and playing gigs for money by 14. At age 16 he was asked to switch to electric bass and replace the bassist in the popular group in his hometown of Traverse City, MI to became a member of the Michigan based Rock-n-Roll group “The Rainmakers” in the mid-late 1960’s recording 2 singles that charted on the regional radio stations and were popular in the mid-west US area, playing primarily in the active Teen Club venues of that era. 

The Rainmakers were contemporaries of hot classic rock Michigan groups such as The Bossmen, Third Power, Terry Knight & the Pack (later to become Grand Funk Railroad) and even used to open for the legendary Bob Seger. In the late 60’s early 70’s Jacobs played with various R & B bands including “The Dapps” based out of James Brown’s studio in Cincinnati, touring all throughout the southern US with Hank Ballard, and Little Johnny Taylor until hooking up with Wayne Cochran & the CC Riders. 

In Nov of 1972, Jacobs replaced the legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius and played with the Cochran band in 1972-73. From there Jacobs moved to NYCto play the Jazz circuit with The Roy Meriwether Trio, performing with that group from 1976-1979 playing in jazz clubs in from NY to LA as well as throughout the US in college concerts and jazz clubs, until in Jan of 1979 when he was asked to join the Kenny Rogers band and has been with Rogers since then performing both with his touring band throughout the world and recording on numerous gold and platinum albums as well as several TV & film projects in studios in Nashville and Los Angeles.

 

Recent Tours: Having toured with Kenny Rogers since 1979, Jacobs has performed the world over and in 2016 he began the “Farewell Tour” with Kenny Rogers, with a planned 160 shows over a 2 year period.  In 2016 the tour visited locales from South Africa, Singapore, Thailand, Kaula Lumpur, Taiwan, England, Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland, and Jamaica, continuing into the U.S and Canada through 2017, with a planned of Kenny Rogers’ 60-year career completion in May of 2018

 

Influences: for Jacobs on bass include Jack Bruce from Cream, famed Motown bassist James Jameson, Ray Brown, Chuck Rainey, of course, his friend Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, Anthony Jackson, Larry Graham, Leland Sklar, and Paul McCartney.