Posts tagged songwriting
“ 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.”
…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.”
“ Emotion drives me…anything that makes my skin warm up…I write a lot when I’m angry, and when my feelings get hurt…my feelings get hurt a lot. People say don’t wear your heart on your sleeve. I know nowhere else to put it…So that’s why I like to have a boyfriend, or drama. I don’t like drama–but it does spark. It sparks a feeling…Some people watch sports and yell at the TV. I write songs.”
Ester Dean, 2009
She has written/composed/arranged/produced for/with 50 Cent, Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson, David Guetta, Mary J. Blige, Keyshia Cole, NIcki Minaj, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Flo-Rida … the list goes on …
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.
“ I appreciate her realness, her gutterness…she brings to the table. I know she gets really glammed up but she’s really gutter. And her songwriting skills are off the chain so I definitely wanted to incorporate that…”
“ I’ve never tried the producing thing, but I do like to stay involved in the writing part. Sometimes we have songwriters that are just so good, that oftentimes I’ll just give them the concept and say, ‘Here, this is what happened to me. What’s your take on that? What’s a way to bring that song and those lyrics to life that will be relatable no matter what race, color or creed,’ and we’ll do it that way. Sometimes I’ll get records that are just unbelievable, and I don’t even have to touch them.”
Monica Brown, 2008