John "Jabo" Starks

John "Jabo" Starks (born October 26, 1938) is a Mobile native funk and blues drummer. He is best known for playing with James Brown. Starks played on many of Brown's biggest hits, either as the sole drummer or in tandem with Clyde Stubblefield, including "The Payback", "Sex Machine", "Super Bad", and "Talking Loud and Saying Nothing". He has also backed many of the artists produced or managed by Brown, most notably Lyn Collins, The JBs, and Bobby Byrd. Along with his colleague Stubblefield, Starks ranks as one of the most sampled drummers on contemporary hip hop and R&B recordings.

In his long career, Starks has played with a number of major figures of the blues, including Bobby Blue Bland and B.B. King. Starks appeared on some of Bland's most successful records, among them "I Pity the Fool" (1961), "Turn On Your Lovelight" and "Stormy Monday Blues". He has continued to work with Stubblefield, with whom he recorded an instructional video and a recent CD as The Funkmasters.

Starks lives in Mobile and performs in Grayton Beach, Florida. When not touring or recording, he performs five nights a week at the Picolo Restaurant and Red Bar, a local restaurant.

Starks and Stubblefield joined Bootsy Collins in Covington, Kentucky on the 22 December 2007 for the first tribute concert for James Brown.

More recently he and Stubblefield completed a CD with [[fred-wesley |Fred Wesley]], which was released in 2008 by Columbia Entertainment Music, Inc. in Tokyo.

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