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Lamont Dozier, Motown legend who co-wrote “You Cannot Hurry Love,” “Attain Out (I am going to Be There)” and “Warmth Wave,” lifeless at 81


Lamont Dozier, the center title of the celebrated Holland-Dozier-Holland group that wrote and produced “You Cannot Hurry Love,” “Warmth Wave” and dozens of different hits and helped make Motown an important report firm of the Sixties and past, has died at age 81.

Dozier’s demise was confirmed Tuesday by Paul Lambert, who helped produce the stage musical “The First Wives Membership” that Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote for. He didn’t have extra particulars.

The music icon’s passing was additionally confirmed in an Instagram publish by his son Lamont Dozier Jr., who wrote: “Relaxation in Heavenly Peace, Dad!!!”

In Motown’s historic, self-defined rise to the “Sound of Younger America,” Holland-Dozier-Holland stood out even in comparison with such gifted friends as Smokey Robinson, Stevie Surprise and Barrett Robust. Over a four-year interval, 1963-67, Dozier and brothers Brian and Eddie Holland crafted greater than 25 high 10 songs and mastered the mix of pop and rhythm and blues that allowed the Detroit label, and founder Berry Gordy, to defy boundaries between Black and white music and rival the Beatles on the airwaves.

For the 4 Tops, they wrote “Child I Want Your Loving” and “Attain Out (I am going to Be There),” for Martha and the Vandellas they wrote “Warmth Wave” and “Jimmy Mack,” for Marvin Gaye “Child Do not You Do It” and “How Candy It Is (To Be Beloved by You).” The music lived on by way of numerous soundtracks, samplings and radio airings, in cowl variations by the Rolling Stones, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and lots of others and in generations of songwriters and musicians influenced by the Motown sound.

“Their buildings had been easy and direct,” Gerri Hirshey wrote within the Motown historical past “Nowhere to Run: The Story of Soul Music,” revealed in 1984. “Generally a track barreled to primary on the sheer voice of repetitive hooks, like a fast-food jungle that lurks, subliminally, till it connects with actual starvation.”

The polish of H-D-H was ideally suited to Motown’s signature act, Diana Ross and the Supremes, for whom they wrote 10 No. 1 songs, amongst them “The place Did Our Love Go,” “Cease! Within the Title of Love” and “You Cannot Hurry Love.” Expectations had been so excessive that when “Nothing However Heartaches” didn’t make the highest 10 in 1965, Gordy despatched an organization memo demanding that Motown solely launch chart toppers for the Supremes, an order H-D-H obeyed with “I Hear a Symphony” and a number of other extra data.

H-D-H additionally wrote “When The Lovelight Begins Shining By His Eyes” for the Supremes — which grew to become the group’s first hit in 1963.

Holland-Dozier-Holland weren’t above formulation or carefully repeating a earlier hit, however they labored in varied moods and kinds: the informal pleasure of “How Candy It Is (To Be Beloved by You),” the escalating need of “Warmth Wave,” the urgency of “Attain Out (I am going to Be There).” Dozier’s focus was on melody and preparations, whether or not the haunting echoes of the Vandellas’ backing vocals on “Nowhere To Run,” flashing lights of guitar that drive the Supremes’ “You Preserve Me Hanging On,” or the hypnotic gospel piano on Gaye’s “Can I Get a Witness.”

“All of the songs began out as sluggish ballads, however after we had been within the studio we would decide up the tempo,” Dozier advised the Guardian in 2001. “The songs needed to be quick as a result of they had been for youngsters – in any other case it might have been extra like one thing in your mother and father. The emotion was nonetheless there, it was slightly below cowl of the optimism that you just obtained from the up-tempo beat.”

The prime of H-D-H, and of Motown, led to 1968 amid questions and authorized disputes over royalties and different points. H-D-H left the label, and neither aspect would get well. The 4 Tops and the Supremes had been among the many acts who suffered from not having their most reliable writers. In the meantime, H-D-H’s efforts to begin their very own enterprise fell far wanting Motown. The labels Invictus and Sizzling Wax each pale inside a number of years, and Dozier would recall with disbelief the Hollands’ turning down such future superstars as Al Inexperienced and George Clinton. H-D-H did launch a number of hits, together with Freda Payne’s “Band of Gold” and Honey Cone’s “Need Adverts.”

Holland-Dozier-Holland had been inducted into the Songwriters Corridor of Fame in 1988 and the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame two years later. On his personal, Dozier had a high 20 hit with “Attempting to Maintain on to My Girl,” helped produce Aretha Franklin’s “Candy Ardour” album and collaborated with Eric Clapton and Merely Crimson’s Mick Hucknall amongst others. His largest success was co-writing Phil Collins’ chart-topping “Two Hearts,” from the 1988 film “Buster,” a mid-tempo, Motown-style ballad that received a Grammy and Golden Globe and obtained an Oscar nomination.

Phil Collins in Studio with Lamont Dozier
Phil Collins in studio with Lamont Dozier circa 1986.

Lester Cohen by way of Getty Pictures


H-D-H reunited for a stage manufacturing of “The First Wives Membership,” which premiered in 2009, however their time again collectively was transient and sad. Dozier and the Hollands clashed typically and Dozier dropped out earlier than the present launched. “I am unable to see us ever working with Lamont once more,” Eddie Holland wrote in “Come and Get These Recollections,” a memoir by the Hollands that got here out in 2019, the identical yr Dozier revealed the memoir “How Candy It Is.”

Dozier acknowledged that his early success conflicted together with his household life, however he finally settled down with Barbara Ullman, who died in 2021 after greater than 40 years of marriage. His youngsters included the songwriter-record producer Beau Dozier and composer Paris Ray Dozier.

Like so many Motown artists, Dozier was born in Detroit and raised in a household of singers and musicians. He sang within the choir of his Baptist church and his love for phrases was affirmed by a grade faculty trainer who, he recalled, preferred one in all his poems a lot she saved it on the blackboard for a month. By the late Fifties, he was an expert singer and finally signed with Motown, the place he first labored with Brian Holland, after which Eddie Holland, who wrote many of the lyrics.

A few of Motown’s largest hits and catchiest phrases originated from Dozier’s home life. He remembered his grandfather’s addressing ladies as “Sugar pie, honey bunch,” the opening phrases and ongoing chorus of the 4 Tops’ “I Cannot Assist Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch).” The 4 Tops hit “Bernadette” was impressed by all three songwriters having troubles with ladies named Bernadette, whereas an argument with one other Dozier girlfriend helped encourage a Supremes favourite.

“She was fairly heated up as a result of I used to be fairly the women’ man at the moment and I would been dishonest on her,” Dozier advised the Guardian. “So she began telling me off and swinging at me till I stated, ‘Cease! Within the title of affection!’ And as quickly as I would stated it I heard a money register in my head and laughed. My girlfriend did not suppose it was very amusing: we broke up. The one ones who had been completely happy about it had been the Supremes.”

National GRAMMY Career Day Los Angeles
Lamont Dozier throughout Nationwide GRAMMY Profession Day Los Angeles at USC in Los Angeles, California, in 2006.

Douglas A. Sonders by way of Getty Pictures






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