SPOTLIGHT: Holland – Dozier – Holland

Detroit didn’t just put the world on wheels; it also made the world head to the dance floor thanks to Motown Records in the 1960s.  And if by chance your favorite Motown artists were The Supremes, The Four Tops or Martha and the Vandellas, then some of your favorite Motown songs likely came via the songwriting trio of Holland – Dozier – Holland.

Made up of Lamont Dozier and brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, Holland – Dozier – Holland were paired together by Motown founder Berry Gordy in 1963, and over the course of five years, the amount of hits they wrote is almost obscene.

For The Supremes alone, they’re responsible for the following number one hits:  “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Back in My Arms Again,” “I Hear a Symphony,” “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” “Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone” and  “The Happening.”

…And those are just the number one songs from just one group!

They had more number ones and other high ranking hits including The Four Tops’ “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There.”  For Martha and the Vandellas, they wrote “Heat Wave,” “Nowhere to Run” and “Jimmy Mack.”

Add in hits for Marvin Gaye (“Can I Get a Witness,” “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)”) and The Isley Brothers (“This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)”), and it’s understandable why Holland – Dozier – Holland are the legends they are.

Erica Banas grew up on her parents’ Motown 45s.  Her spirit animal is Diana Ross.