And when I say “legend”, I mean effing legend.
Lamont Dozier, the prolific songwriter and producer who was crucial to the success of Motown Records as one-third of the Holland-Dozier-Holland team, died on Monday at his home near Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 81.
Robin Terry, the chairwoman and chief executive of the Motown Museum in Detroit, confirmed the death but did not specify a cause.
In collaboration with the brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, Mr. Dozier wrote songs for dozens of musical acts, but the trio worked most often with Martha and the Vandellas (“Heat Wave,” “Jimmy Mack”), the Four Tops (“Bernadette,” “I Can’t Help Myself”) and especially the Supremes (“You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Baby Love”). Between 1963 and 1972, the Holland-Dozier-Holland team was responsible for more than 80 singles that hit the Top 40 of the pop or R&B charts, including 15 songs that reached No. 1. “It was as if we were playing the lottery and winning every time,” Mr. Dozier wrote in his autobiography, “How Sweet It Is” (2019, written with Scott B. Bomar).
I’m not sure calling Lamont Dozier a giant does him justice. Check out this list:
I could post MPC’s of just their songs for a month, with room to spare, but let’s just settle for this beauty today.
Sublime. Rest in peace, brother. You earned it.
15 responses to “Musical palate cleanser, legend passes edition”
Just another example of why my adult children still play the music they were brought up listening too. The industry just doesn’t make that magic anymore.
RIP you continue to bring joy to people. Hard to accomplish more than that.
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Much like the “Greatest Generation” describes the World War 2 generation that all almost all gone, the “Greatest Musical Generation” are now leaving us in much the same way which is accelerating. (And I’m going to mention Olivia Newton-John; not because she was some sort of musical genius or uber talent, but because…well, I had a teenage crush on her and so did you, probably. And that makes her kind of important. At least to me).
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She was my age so, no, not any “teenage” crush! Maybe Janis.
Well said. Growing up in the 70’s was flat out magical compared to today. I wouldn’t trade one cut, bruise, ‘being switched by my grandmother’, stealing plums and pears out of my grandmother’s and neighbor’s trees. Being told to go outside and play and be back by lunch, then back by dinner and then back before the street lights come on. And we were border-line poor. No bike helmets, jarts, sandlot tackle football, baseball all summer (hunting for enough coke bottles to turn in to buy a new ball). And music. We had Motown, Incredible Rock, and true talent like Elton John, Elvis was still around, Ronstadt, Southern Rock, ballads that when sung in concert sounded like the damn record.
I’m 63 now and watch the world around me. And while I see progress in areas that needed progressing; I also see each generation getting a little softer and so easily offended. Vicious on line and will to talk to you on the phone, much less in person. God help us…
Oh and their music blows…
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Mr Ran A,
I am ten years older than you and I have those exact same memories. Great post. Thanks
I know most of those fantastic songs by heart, but I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know Lamont Dozier wrote them until reading his obit. With that kind of catalog, Mr. Dozier ranks with the biggest of the big. What a legacy he left for us.
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Best song inspiration–According to NYT’s obit, Dozier was in a Detroit motel room with a girl friend when another girl friend banged on the door yelling “STOP in the name of love”. It’s a good story whether true or not.
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That’s the kind of insight I love…thanks for that
Brilliant guys who could really never be recognized enough for the part they played in the Motown machine- equal to the Funk Brothers, in my opinion-and I believe they also demanded more from Gordy, eventually, and left. No disrespect to BG, but good for them, standing up for songwriters by standing up for themselves.
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What a song! Check out the great bass playing (by James Jameson, I presume).
Thanks Senator. I really enjoy these posts.
Most of the H-D-H songs were actually written as ballads. There is a Lamont Dozier album with his versions. I don’t know how to attach a link, but if you love this music you should hear him perform his songs.
Here’s a link
Thanks Senator. I didn’t know of him but certainly knew his work.
I will never understand how three men can go to work each day and their job is to create great songs. And they did it better than anyone or group. How do you do that every day?