Dozier was the middle name of the famous Holland-Dozier-Holland team that wrote and produced “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Heat Wave” and many other Motown hits.
NEW YORK — Lamont Dozier is the middle name of the famous Holland-Dozier-Holland team that wrote and produced “You Can’t Love That Soon,” “Hate Wave” and dozens of other hits and helped make Motown an essential record company. Helped. 1960 and later, died at the age of 81.
Dozier’s death was confirmed Tuesday by Paul Lambert, who helped produce the stage musical “The First Wives Club” that Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote for.
In Motown’s landmark, self-titled “Sound of Young America,” Holland-Dozier-Holland also stood out against talented peers like Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and Barrett Strong. In a four-year period, 1963-67, Dozier and brothers Brian and Eddie Holland produced more than 25 Top 10 songs and mastered the fusion of pop and rhythm and blues that led to the Detroit label, and founder Barry Gordy, of There was an opportunity to transgress the boundaries between. Black and white music and rivaled the Beatles on the airwaves.
For the Four Tops, he wrote “Baby Me Your Loving” and “Reach Out (I’m There)”, for Martha and the Vandellas he wrote “Hate Wave” and “Jimmy Mac”, Marvin sang “Baby Dawn”. “You Don’t Do It For” and “How Sweet It Is (To Love You).” Countless soundtracks by the Rolling Stones, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and many others and generations of songwriters and musicians influenced by the Motown sound. , continued through sampling and radio airings.
“Their structures were simple and straightforward,” wrote Gary Hershey in the Motown history “Nowhere to Run: The Story of Soul Music,” published in 1984. A jungle of fast food that hides until it meets true hunger.”
Brian Wilson, Ron Wood and Mick Hucknall were among the many musicians who paid tribute on Tuesday. Carole King, another famous ’60s hitmaker with then-husband Jerry Goffin, tweeted that “trying to be with him made us better songwriters.”
HDH’s polish was an ideal fit for Motown’s signature act, Diana Ross and the Supremes, for whom he wrote 10 No. 1 songs, including “Where’s Our Love Gone,” “Stop! Love’s Name?” On” and “You Can’t Rush Love.” Expectations were so high that when “Nothing But Heartaches” failed to crack the Top 10 in 1965, Gordy sent a company memo demanding that Motown release chart-toppers only for the Supremes, an order HDH responded with “I Hear a Symphony” with Mana and many more. Records
Holland-Dozier-Holland didn’t stick to formulas or closely repeat any previous hits, but they worked in different moods and styles: the laid-back joy of “How Sweet It Is (To Love You),” the “warm “, the rising wave of desire, the urgency of “Reach Out (I’m There)”. Dozier’s focus was on melody and arrangement, whether it was the haunting echoes of the Vandellas’ backing vocals on “Nowhere To Run,” the twinkling guitar lights that drove the Supremes on “You Keep Me Hanging On” or Gay’s Hypnotic Gospel Piano. May I have a witness?”
“All the songs started out as slow songs, but when we were in the studio we would pick up the tempo,” Dozier told the Guardian in 2001. The songs had to be fast because they were for teenagers – otherwise something more like something for your parents. The emotion was still there, it was just under the guise of hope that you got faster.”
HDH and Motown’s Primer ended in 1968 amid questions and legal disputes over royalties and other issues. HDH left the label, and neither side would recover. The Four Tops and The Supremes were among the works that lacked their most reliable writers. Meanwhile, HD-H’s efforts to start his own business fell short of Motown. Both the Invictus and Hot Wax labels folded within a few years, and Dozier would remember with disbelief Holland’s rejection of future superstars like Al Green and George Clinton. HDH released several hits, including Freda Payne’s “Band of Gold” and Honey Cone’s “Want Aids.”
Holland-Dozier-Holland was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two years later. On his own, Dozier scored a Top 20 hit with “Trying to Hold on to My Woman,” helped produce Aretha Franklin’s “Sweet Passion” album and collaborated with Eric Clapton and Hucknall, among others. His biggest achievement was writing Phil Collins’ chart-topping “Two Hearts” from the 1988 film “Buster,” a mid-tempo, Motown-style song that won a Grammy and Golden Globe and earned an Oscar nomination.
HDH reunited for a stage production of “The First Wives Club”, which premiered in 2009, but their time back together was short and unhappy. Dozier and Hollands often feuded and Dozier quit the show before it even started. “I can’t see us working with Lamont again,” Eddie Holland wrote in “Come and Get These Memories,” a memoir by Hollands that came out in 2019, the same year Dozier published the memoir “It How sweet.”
Dozier admitted that his early success conflicted with his family life, but he eventually settled down with Barbara Ullmann, who died in 2021 after more than 40 years of marriage. Their children included songwriter record producer Beau Dozier and musician Paris Ray Dozier.
Like many Motown artists, Dozier was born in Detroit and raised in a family of singers and musicians. He sang in the choir of his Baptist church and his love of words was confirmed by a grade school teacher who, he recalled, liked one of his poems so much that he blackmailed him for a month. Placed on the board. By the late 1950s, he was a professional singer and eventually signed with Motown, where he worked first with Brian Holland, and then with Eddie Holland, who wrote most of the lyrics.
Some of Motown’s most successful and catchy phrases came from Dozier’s home life. He recalled his grandfather addressing the women as “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch”, the opening words and the Four Tops’ continuing refrain “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch).” The Four Tops hit was “Bernadette”. All three songwriters were influenced by a woman named Bernadette who had problems, while a feud with another Dossier girlfriend helped inspire the Supremes’ favourite.
“She was pretty hot because I was quite the ladies’ man at the time and I was cheating on her,” Dozier told the Guardian. “So he started telling me and swinging at me until I said, ‘Stop! For love!’ And as soon as I said it I heard the cash register in my head and laughed. My girlfriend didn’t think it was very amusing: we broke up. The only people who were happy about it were the Supremes.