Posts tagged motown
Based in part on…hours of previously unreleased…and deathbed interviews with Mary Wells, this account delves deeply into her rapid rise and long fall…
…I noticed that women were more interesting to write for. Women have a broader sensitivity to emotions than men, I think. We were taught coming up that you don’t cry; you take it on the chin. We couldn’t say we hurt if we were hurt; we could only deal with those subjects through writing for women. That’s why we liked writing for girl groups so much. It wasn’t because they were easier to direct, in fact the women got away with more in the studio than the men; male groups like The Four Tops and Chairmen Of The Board always took much better direction…We knew it was women who bought all our records. Not just the Supremes records but the ones by male groups like the Four Tops as well, because…we had shown a sensitive side, and I think women like to see that side of men. I knew I was able to write in a way that appealed to women. I spend a lot of time listening to women talking about their views, their problems and so on. I find it interesting. Most men don’t.
more, from Eddie Holland
Lamont Dozier (at piano), Eddie Holland (with guitar), Brian Holland (with pipe): Detroit-based songwriting and production team for Motown…with The Supremes (l to r): Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard.
Heaven must have sent you from above…
Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye’s 1967 “Your Precious Love.” Words and music by Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson.
‘Yes I wrote for the Supremes. It was hard to give records to people in that day because…women’s lib hadn’t come. Women were supposed to just take orders, in the ’50s and ’60s…that’s what was going on at Motown. They said, “you can’t write” and when they tell me I couldn’t write, I had to write because they told me I couldn’t…Eddie Holland would joke with me and say, “you can’t write, just sing, just sing these lyrics don’t even try to write.” So when I wrote ‘You’ve Made Me Feel So Very Happy’ it was because my boyfriend had quit me…I was at the piano and it came. Everything, all the melody and the story line and what I wanted…and then in the middle I got stuck…so I called Berry Gordy. I said, “Berry, I know this song’s a hit because when I started playing it I called Barry White, and I said listen, and he said, “I think you have a hit, I’ll be right over.” We…played around with it [and] when we got stuck on the bridge, Frank Wilson…wrote that…
Brenda Russell. The song she is talking about (her sister Patrice Holloway is also credited) was a hit for herself in ‘67, and also for Blood, Sweat & Tears in ‘69. Plus it’s a classic from Lou Rawls.
“Coping to me is a day by day thing. My most cherished memories of Michael are in my head. I used to gab on the phone when he lived at the family compound. We did not talk everyday. But he would call up and go ‘Hi.’”
CEO of de Passe Entertainment and former Creative Assistant to the President of Motown who helped launch Michael Jackson’s career during the Jackson 5 days
“ …It was a real, real surprise because we were performing at the fair and all of a sudden, Mr. Gordy came on stage and presented us with this beautiful plaque saying “One million sales of ‘Shop Around.’” How exciting that was to think that we were basically just kids that started out and now had actually…sold a million records.”
“ I’m an icon, or a diva, or a soul sister, or a queen. Labels…I have never gotten into the label thing.”
art: photo of Ross, in England, by Barrie Wentzell; date not known