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Motown Songwriter and Producer Lamont Dozier Dies at 81 | Death Entertainment

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NEW YORK (AP) — Lamont Dozier is the middle name of the famous Holland-Dozier-Holland team, who wrote and produced “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Heat Wave,” and dozens of other hits. , helped make Motown an important record. Company since the 1960s, he died at the age of 81.

Dozier’s death was confirmed Tuesday by Paul Lambert, who helped produce the Holland-Dozier-Holland-scripted stage musical The First Wives Club. Duke Fakir, the last surviving member of the original Four Tops, called Dodger a “beautiful and talented man” and had an uncanny sense of the best material for a particular group.

“I like to call Holland Dozier Holland ‘The Tailor of Music,'” he said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “Any artist could be called into the office, listened to, and written a top 10 song.”

In Motown’s rise to the historic and self-defining “Sound of Young America”, Holland Dodger Holland has been compared to such talented peers as Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and Barrett Strong. also stood out. In his four years from 1963 to 1967, Dodger and his brothers Brian and Eddie Holland created over 25 of his top 10 songs and mastered the blend of pop and rhythm and blues. did. Black and white music was broadcast, rivaling The Beatles.

“Baby I Need Your Loving” and “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” for The Four Tops, “Heat Wave” and “Jimmy Mac” for Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin If you’re gay, write “Baby Don”. ‘t You Do It’ and ‘How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)’. The music has lived on through countless soundtracks, samples, and radio broadcasts, with cover versions by the Rolling Stones, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and many others, and generations influenced by the Motown sound. It has been passed down by songwriters and musicians.

“Their structure was simple and direct,” wrote Jerry Hershey in his 1984 Motown history Nowhere to Run: The Story of Soul Music. A fast food jingle lurking subliminally until it leads to real hunger.

Brian Wilson, Ronnie Wood and Mick Hucknall were among the many musicians who paid tribute Tuesday. tweeted, “We’ve become better songwriters by striving to keep up with them.”

HDH’s sophisticated style was a perfect fit for iconic Motown acts Diana Ross and the Supremes. Expectations were so high that when “Nothing But Heartaches” failed to make the Top 10 in 1965, Gordy decided to take the company’s lead. Sending out a note, demanding that Motown release the chart topping only to the Supremes, HDH followed orders such as “I Hear a Symphony”. record.

Holland-Dozier-Holland never overstepped the format or scrupulously repeated their previous hits, but the casual delights of “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You),” “Heat Wave ‘, the urgency of ‘Reach Out (I’ll Be There)’. Dozier’s focus is on melodies and arrangements, whether it’s the haunting echoes of his vocals backing Vandellas on “Nowhere To Run,” the flashing lights of the guitar that drives the Supremes’ “You Keep Me Hanging On,” or the gays. “Can I Get Witnesses?”

“Every song started out as a slow ballad, but when we were in the studio we picked up the tempo,” Dozier told The Guardian in 2001. It was like something for your parents. The emotion was still there, hidden in the optimism it got from the uptempo beat. ”

The heyday of HDH and Motown ended in 1968 amid questions and legal disputes over royalties and other issues. HDH left the label and neither recovered. The Four Tops and the Supremes were one of those artists who suffered from the loss of their most trusted writers. Meanwhile, HD-H’s efforts to start its own business fell far short of Motown. Both the Invictus and Hot Wax labels faded within a few years, and Dozier recalled in disbelief that Holland turned down future superstars like Al Green and George Clinton. HDH released several hits, including “Band of Gold” by Freda Payne and “Want Ads” by Honey Cone.

Holland-Dozier-Holland was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two years later. Dozier had a solo Top 20 hit with “Trying to Hold on to My Woman,” helped produce Aretha Franklin’s “Sweet Passion” album, and collaborated with the likes of Eric Clapton and his Hucknall. His greatest success came from the 1988 film Buster, when he co-wrote the Collins hit “Two Hearts” with Phil. This is a mid-tempo Motown ballad in his style that won a Grammy and a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar.

HDH reunited for a stage production of The First Wife Club, which premiered in 2009, but their time together was brief and unhappy. I dropped out before it even started. “I will never work with Lamont again,” Eddie Holland wrote in her memoir Come and Get These Memories of Holland, published in 2019. ”

Dozier admitted that his early success clashed with his family life, but eventually settled with Barbara Ullman, who died in 2021 after more than 40 years of marriage. His children included songwriter and record producer Bo He Dodger and composer Paris Ray He Dodger.

Like many Motown artists, Dodger was born in Detroit and raised in a family of singers and musicians. He sang in his Baptist church choir, and his love of words was recognized by an elementary school teacher. I worked there first with Brian Holland and then with Eddie Holland who wrote most of the lyrics.

Some of Motown’s biggest hits and catchiest phrases stem from Dodger’s home life. He recalls that his grandfather called the woman “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch,” and the opening words and ongoing refrain of Four Her Tops’ “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch).” I remembered. The Four Tops’ hit “Bernadette” was inspired by all three songwriters having trouble with a woman named Bernadette, and an altercation with another Dodger’s girlfriend inspired a Supremes favourite. It was helpful.

“At the time, I was a pretty ladies’ man, and I was cheating on her, so she was pretty hot,” Dodger told The Guardian. For love!’ As soon as I said that, I heard the register noise in my head and laughed.My girlfriend didn’t think it was very funny: we broke up. All I had was the Supremes.”

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