Posts tagged songwriters
“ About two years ago, I was pregnant for the first time. And I heard the heartbeat, which was the most beautiful music I ever heard in my life. I picked out names. I envisioned what my child would look like…I was feeling very maternal. I flew back to New York to get my check up—and no heartbeat. Literally the week before I went to the doctor, everything was fine, but there was no heartbeat. [And then] I went into the studio and wrote the saddest song I’ve ever written in my life…”
“ What I’m gonna ask myself is why I wrote this song so high…’Cause I didn’t even get to the chorus yet, and I’m asking myself what made me write this song so high?”
“ The one thing that females are going to run into is not being taken seriously. We’re women, and it is male-dominated. You have to demand an equal amount of respect, and the way you do that is do what you came to do—impress them and leave.”
“ That’s what females need to do—hold their own, and be confident and have no doubts about what they’re doing. Make everyone else believe.”
“ That’s always hard work—to confront your fears, but it’s also hard work because I know more as a producer…so I’m being responsible for more, and that’s a lot more work…I was always emotionally involved. This time I was technically involved, and emotionally involved…It was some of the hardest work I’ve ever done.”
…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.
Born and raised in Columbus, Georgia, [Willie] Denson migrated to New York City in 1957. While pursuing a career as a songwriter and poet, he worked the night shift at the U.S. Post Office, a job he held for three decades and retained even when his musical aspirations became a reality. In 1959 he teamed with composer Luther Dixon to write ‘Mama Said’, inspired by the memory of Denson’s own mother, Lillie.
more, from a remembrance.
…original (Dick Clark Television Productions) contract dated December 6, 1960, for an appearance by…”The Shirelles,” on American Bandstand. The contract has been signed by all four members…Shirley Owens, Addie Harris, Beverly Lee, and Doris Coley Kenner…in blue ballpoint pen, and by Dick Clark in green ballpoint…The Shirelles were one of the first popular girl groups and among the few to write their own songs. Their hit, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” released one month earlier, was the first record by a black female group to hit the top spot in the Pop chart.
These sessions yielded “All I Have,” a duet with Jennifer Lopez and LL Cool J…[songwriter Makeba] Riddick not only had her first song on the radio, but it soared to No. 1…“I was 21 years old, I didn’t know what that meant…Not only did it go No. 1 but it stayed there for [four] weeks and I was just like ‘OK,’ and everybody was calling me and congratulating me and asking me if I knew what it meant..It didn’t really impact me what that meant until after the record was over. Now it was time to do it again.”