Saturday, April 20, 2024

Diana Ross Remembers Lamont Dozier, 81, Co-Writer of Motown Hits with the Holland Brothers for the Four Tops, Supremes, More


Lamont Dozier has passed away at age 81. He and brothers Eddie and Brian Holland wrote literally all of the hits for the Four Tops, the Supremes, many other Motown acts. The trio was called HDH. They left Motown at the end of the 60s and sued Berry Gordy for millions. HDH started Invictus Records and had a new slew of hits with Freda Payne, the Honey Cone, and other groups. I knew Lamont, and he was just a lovely, sweet, sweet guy. He had his own recording career as well, releasing a couple of albums and several singles including a minor hit called “Fish Ain’t Bitin’.”

But really, without Holland-Dozier-Holland we would be missing a sizeable chunk of the soundtrack to not just the 60s but our lives. Everything from “Bernadette” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There” to “Where Did Our Love Go” and so on.

Valerie Simpson, of Ashford and Simpson, the other main Motown hit songwriting team, told me today. “Lamont was such a delightful guy. And he was a good singer himself. We were all just blessed to be in tune with the times.” Simpson also credited Berry Gordy for all their successes. “He really created the atmosphere for all those hits.”

Mary Wilson told writer Harvey Kubernick in a 2002 interview: “Just to talk about H-D-H was such a wonderful experience for our growth and journey. They took us through the times that was going on in the world. Each time they would bring us to another level. The records show this. We did ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ and ‘You Keep Me Hanging On.’ Those were great albums. That’s why we had wanted them in the beginning. We had to grow into that.”

Maybe as a tribute to Lamont and HDH today, the hottest day of the year in NYC, we should listen to one of their greatest compositions, “(Love is Like a) Heat Wave.”

Here’s his full bio from The New York Times.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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