Songwriters

Holland Dozier Holland – The Backbone of Motown

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No matter how old you are, where you were born or what type of music you listen to, chances are you’ve bobbed your head to a Holland Dozier Holland song. Don’t know who they are? Don’t worry, your not alone. However, Holland Dozier Holland were responsible for some of the greatest hits throughout the 60’s and 70’s. Without them, we might not have The Supremes, Dianna Ross or The Temptations. In the following article, we’ll tell you a little bit more about this amazing songwriting and production team. Read on and learn.

Holland Dozier Holland was a songwriting group that consisted of brothers Brian and Eddie Holland and their good friend Lamont Dozier. They formed in 1962, at the beginning of the Motown takeover. Brian Holland and Dozier were the ones who composed and produced each song, while Eddie was the driving force behind the lyrics. While they originally formed as performing musicians themselves, they soon realized that they much preferred creating music for others and staying behind the scenes. This was particularly true for Eddie who happened to suffer terribly from stage fright.

During their tenure at Motown, the trio would create and produce 25 number 1 hits including popular songs like “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch” for the Four tops and “Heat Wave,” “Baby Love,” “Stop In The Name Of Love,” and You Keep Me Hanging On” for the Supremes. It was as if practically every hit song that came from Motown Records was a Holland Dozier Holland song.

As is the case with a lot of musical acts, money became an issue between the song writing team and Motown executive Berry Gordy. In 1968, they left the label and decided to venture out on their own, creating Invictus and Hot Wax Records. However, in the legal preceding that followed their departure, the trio could not put out any more music under the name Holland Dozier Holland. For this reason, they began to use aliases until the lawsuit was finally settled in 1977.

It should be noted that even though there was a large lawsuit between the trio and Motown records, there was no love lost between the two. In fact, Dozier would often collaborate with Motown artists such as Michael Jackson and Dianna Ross. Holland Dozier Holland were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and they have won countless BMI pop awards for the masterpieces they created.

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