Lamont Dozier Motown Hitmaker Dies at 81

by The Black Wall Street Times
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Motown Hitmaker Lamont Dozier Dies at 81
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Motown’s song-writing sensation Lamont Dozier, famous for co-writing the hit songs “You Can’t Hurry Love” for the Supremes and “Heat Wave” for the Vandellas, along with countless other songs, has died. Dozier was 81.

During the mid-’60s, with the help of brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, Dozier crafted more than 25 top ten hits. Together, they formed the song production team Holland-Dozier-Holland.  

Motown Hitmaker Lamont Dozier Dies at 81

FILE – Singer Diana Ross, second from left, joins songwriters, from left, Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland and Eddie Holland after the writing team was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York on Jan. 17, 1990. Dozier, of the celebrated Holland-Dozier-Holland team that wrote and produced “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Heat Wave” and dozens of other hits and helped make Motown an essential record company of the 1960s and beyond, has died at age 81. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm, File)

As a result of their ability to blend pop, rhythm, and blues, the Detroit label and its founder, Berry Gordy, were able to break through barriers between Black and White music lovers as well as rival mainstream tunes on the radio, which was primarily White at the time. 

Among the hits, they wrote, “Baby I Need Your Loving” for the Four Tops. The song was the group’s first Motown single and their first pop Top 20 hit, making it to number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

In addition to that mega-hit, Lamont Dozier also co-wrote the hit songs “Reach Out (I’ll Be There),” for Martha, “Heat Wave” and “Jimmy Mack,” for the Vandellas, “Baby Don’t You Do It” and “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You),” for Marvin Gaye. 

There have been countless soundtracks, samples, and radio airings of the music, as well as cover versions by the Rolling Stones, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, and many others, as well as generations of writers and musicians influenced by the Motown sound, by Lamont Dozier’s sound. 

Motown Royalty and its Mellinial Artists Remembers Lamont Dozier

“My condolences to Lamont Dozier’s family. He will always be remembered through all the beautiful songs that he wrote for me and the Supremes, and so many other beautiful songs,” Diana Ross wrote in a Twitter post. 

Along with his brothers, Lamont Dozier famously took Diana Ross and the Supremes to the next level, writing 10 number ones. Among the most memorable that broke the color barrier in music: are “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” and “You Can’t Hurry Love.” 

Motown’s Fire and in Little Africa producer Stevie Johnson, known as Dr. View, said: “Lamont Dozier is a legend. There would be no Supremes, Four Tops, Martha and the Vandellas, or Isley Brothers if it weren’t for Lamont Dozier. Berry Gordy coined quality control, but Lamont was a critical piece in sustaining the hits that came out of Motown. He’s truly an inspiration to me and many others and will be missed.”

Other Musical Accolades

As a solo artist, Dozier had a top 20 hit with “Trying to Hold on to My Woman” while also helping produce Aretha Franklin’s “Sweet Passion.” 

Additionally, he was nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing Phil Collins’ chart-topping song “Two Hearts” from the 1988 film “Buster,” a mid-tempo Motown ballad that won a Grammy and Golden Globe award.

In 1988 Lamont Dozier, along with his brothers, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two years later.


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