The life and times of Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier | 1941 – 2022


When LAMONT DOZIER died on August 8, 2022, we lost one of the main architects of Motown sound: a skilled craftsman who helped define popular music during the 1960s. Here EDDIE HOLLAND pays a deep and moving tribute to his former friend and collaborator – taking us from the Hitsville USA factory floor through the Motown Empire to reveal more recent plans to revive the partnership between Holland, Dozier and the Netherlands. Said to Nick Hasted in the latest issue of uncut Magazine – in UK stores from Thursday 15th September and available to buy from our online store. “I still don’t really want to think of him leaving.”

Plus: The Four Shirts, CEOs, Mick Hocknall and others A tribute to the songwriting genius of Dozier.

The last time I saw Lamont Dozier It was in 2020. He was living in Las Vegas and his wife, Barbara, asked if I was going to a meeting. I was so surprised. I wanted him to do something with him Netherlands Dozier Holland Again that’s what he wanted to talk about. Barbara asked if I would consider letting Lamont Engage in a song Brian I have written. Can we work on an arrangement like Netherlands Dozier Holland repeatedly? I said, “Sure.”

You see, when Hitsville was really buzzing, it was magic. We were in another kind of high. It was as if something had taken control – something stronger than us. For four or five years, we’ve been in a flow. But in Motown, I don’t think so Netherlands Dozier Holland She has reached her fullest potential. In fact, we are just getting started. So I wanted to work on some songs again, do something together. But, somehow, we just couldn’t get around it.

heard about Lamont His departure from his brother Reggie. I still haven’t finished it. Intellectually, I understand it’s not here. But emotionally, I don’t want to accept that. I don’t want him not to be here. LamontAnd the Brian And I was together for a long time, the relationship between us was beautiful.

Lamont Already started working with Brian in Motown in 1962. But my idea was to put them together, and write the lyrics. Don’t get me wrong, Lamont He was a wonderful writer. But they were fluent in music, and writing lyrics was holding them back. So I said to my brother, “What do you think of songwriting? That way, we can cover a lot of ground very quickly.” We worked together like magic. In fact, we’d come out on a lot of records so often and so quickly, I’d say, “Oh my God, is it that easy?” But it wasn’t easy – it’s just that when we were producing the recordings, we were innate and unfettered. We’ve had people coming from New York say, “Wow, do you realize you have that many top 10 and number 1 records?” Well, not really. We never talked about how successful we were among ourselves. Despite the competition like all writers in Motown, we always helped each other out. The truth is that we were very young and had a kind of naivety. We were just in the mood for a moment. We were doing what we felt like, man.

This is how it worked Lamont And the Brian. Brian He was very good at melodies. Lamont He was, too, but at times he was tempted to ask Brian to correct some chord he was looking for. Marvin Gaye “Can I Get A Witness”or “Jimmy Mac” by Martha and The Vandelas – Those are straight R&B. This is it LamontNot Brian. Our first real big song on VandelasAnd the “heat wave” – That was basically Lamont Melody and production. Lamont He was very good at dribbling.

I asked my brother once, “Why Lamont Do those kinds of tunes? ‘No one can sing those things but him and I – I have to sing it to translate it for the artists. Brian He said, “so-Let me tell you something. Lamont He was the drummer. He still has the tunes he learned from that.” I said, “Wow! That’s why it’s hard like that.” That’s how he handles it, it’s something almost out of timing, multiplying in a certain rhythm – bababa-bababa, ba-ba ba-ba.

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