DETROIT — The mystery of an amplifier that might have helped fuel the Motown sound will be the subject of upcoming documentary on public television.
The segment is part of a "History Detectives" episode set to premiere Tuesday night on PBS stations nationwide. It focuses on an amplifier stamped with the name "James Jamerson," a founding father of Motown Records' in-house band known as the "Funk Brothers."
The show takes the Ampeg amp to experts as well as friends and family of the bassist to determine if it belonged to him.
Jamerson played on many of the Detroit-founded label's early hits but was largely unknown to the public until the release of a 1989 book about him and a 2002 documentary, "Standing in the Shadows of Motown.